House Democrats want to pass the $ 1.9 trillion coronavirus alleviation bill on Wednesday for President Joe Biden to sign by the weekend.
The chamber received the package passed by the Senate on Tuesday and, according to the office of Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, will initiate procedural steps on Wednesday morning to establish the final approval. Biden intends to sign the legislation in time to pass the Sunday unemployment benefit extension deadline. It can take days for Congress to officially send large bills to the White House.
The president previously said he expected direct payments of up to $ 1,400 to hit Americans’ bank accounts this month.
Democrats are likely to pass the package without Republican votes as the GOP questions the need for nearly $ 2 trillion more in federal spending. The bill was passed in the Senate without Republican support as part of the budget reconciliation.
On Tuesday, House Democratic Caucus Chairman Hakeem Jeffries, DN.Y., told reporters he was “110% confident that the votes would be there to pass the plan”.
Legislation provides for an increase in unemployment benefits of $ 300 per week and programs to expand unemployment benefits to an additional million Americans by September 6th. It includes stimulus payments, an expansion of child tax credit, rental and utility benefits, and state, local, and tribal government relief.
In addition to K-12 schools and higher education institutions, the bill also brings more money into the distribution and testing of Covid-19 vaccines.
House progressives had criticized changes the Senate had made to a version of the previously approved plan representatives. However, the Chair of the Progressive Caucus Congress, Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., Signaled that the group would continue to support the Senate-approved proposal.
The Senators reduced the unemployment benefit from $ 400 to $ 300 and limited the number of people who received direct concessions to conservative Democratic Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia.
Democrats have said the legislation will reduce child poverty and help households afford food and rent as the economy recovers from the pandemic. While the US continues to regain jobs lost during the crisis, more than 18 million people were still receiving some form of unemployment benefit as of mid-February.
Republicans have questioned the need for further stimulus spending as the US accelerates its vaccination pace and nears normal levels. They also claimed Democrats focused on policies unrelated to the pandemic.
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