US House Democrats advance US$1.9t Covid-19 aid Bill

20 Février, 2021, 06:45 | Auteur: Yves Courtet
  • WASHINGTON- JANUARY 29 U.S. Congressman Pat Toomey  testifies as fellow Congressman Dave Weldon looks on at a hearing before the Subcommittee on Science Technology and Space

"I'm open to that", Mr.

"Inflation has been very low for over a decade, and you know it's a risk, but it's a risk that the Federal Reserve and others have tools to address", she said.

Earlier yesterday, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, a fellow Democrat, said his deeply divided chamber will pass the Bill before March 14, when the latest round of federal unemployment benefits expire.

Biden said he was grateful that Congress is moving forward with getting the relief passed and said that he would still not rule out hearing ideas on how to make the package cheaper. "And my hope is that the Republicans in Congress listen to their constituents". But that quickly proved to be hard as Republicans raised concerns over the price tag of Biden's bill, voicing their support instead for a much smaller package.

One of the main points of contention is whether a federal minimum wage hike could be included under the reconciliation process. "We will meet this deadline", he said in a Friday letter to Democrats.

The House Budget Committee released the bill text Friday and is scheduled to take up the package Monday. The Biden bill would increase those weekly benefits to $400 and extend them into the fall. Because the IRS is also processing tax returns, it could take longer to send stimulus checks depending on how quickly the IRS processes the money.

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Analysts have questioned the need for the $350 billion for state and local governments in the plan after states brought in more revenue than had been expected when the pandemic first took hold previous year.

Democrats have made a decision to ram the package through Congress using a rare tactic known as "budget reconciliation" which will allow them to bypass any Republican dissent and pass the bailout with a simple majority vote. "This package will keep schools closed, bailout blue states, pay people not to work, and raise the minimum wage to $15/hour".

Aides to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) also circulated a memo Friday indicating they planned to challenge the legislation aggressively once it reaches the Senate floor under the rules of "budget reconciliation", which would allow it to pass with a simple majority vote instead of the 60 votes normally required.

The House's proposal would provide $1,400 stimulus checks to most Americans, $400 weekly unemployment benefits through August 29 and increase the minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2025.

The provision faces multiple difficulties: Republicans oppose it and at least two moderate Senate Democrats have warned they, too, would vote against it, which would sink the wage increase in a Senate split 50-50. If they hold together, they can pass the legislation with Vice President Harris breaking the tie.

Sen. Joe Manchin, a West Virginia Democrat, told The Hill on Tuesday that he doesn't back a $15 minimum wage and is "supportive of basically having something that's responsible and reasonable", which he defined as an $11 minimum wage in his home state.

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