The package includes direct aid to small businesses, $1,400 direct checks to Americans earning less than $75,000 annually, an increase in the child tax credit, direct funding to state and local governments and more money for vaccine distribution. The bill also provides funding for schools in both secondary and higher education.
However, for a package to become law, it must pass both the House and Senate. In the Senate, Democratic and Republican staffers will meet with MP Elizabeth MacDonough on Tuesday to find out whether the $15 minimum wage will be allowed under the budget reconciliation process, which would pass the package with just 50 votes. instead of 60 votes. vote. MacDonough’s decision will determine the outcome of the next steps for Biden’s stimulus package and whether an increase in the minimum wage is included.
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The vote will take place Friday, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer tweeted Tuesday.
The House will vote on Friday @POTUS‘ #AmericanRescuePlan to end this pandemic and provide urgently needed assistance to American families and small businesses. The American people strongly support this bill and we are moving quickly to ensure that it is passed into law.
— Steny (wearing a mask) Hoyer (@LeaderHoyer) February 24, 2021
The House Budget Committee vote was 19 to 16 Monday, with a Democrat, Rep. Lloyd Doggett of Texas, joined Republicans to vote against the aid package. However, Doggett’s spokesperson said in a statement that the vote against the package was an accident and that Doggett “supports COVID-19 relief legislation”.
The committee continues to vote on non-binding resolutions, but with the drafting of the bill on Monday afternoon, the official step is taken towards the vote by the full chamber.
The more than 590-page bill marks the first major piece of legislation introduced under the Biden administration and represents the first opportunity for congressional Democrats to enact legislation with control of the White House, Senate and House of Representatives.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will have a narrow margin to pass the bill later this week, unable to lose more than five votes. The bill’s chances are boosted by the fact that many members of both the moderate and progressive sides are reluctant to torpedo the Biden administration’s first big question.
The job in the Senate could be more difficult, as two Democratic moderates – Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona – have made it clear they are not comfortable voting for a coronavirus relief bill that includes an increase in the minimum wage to $15 an hour over five years.
The provision, which was in the House bill, may survive the budget process and parliamentary scrutiny that requires every part of the bill to meet a strict set of rules. Lawmakers can learn as soon as possible Tuesday night whether the provision will be allowed under reconciliation, the process that allows Democrats to pass their bill by just 51 votes.
This story and headline were updated Tuesday with additional developments.
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