Chuck Schumer, Chairman of the U.S. Senate Minority, speaks to reporters at the U.S. Capitol in Washington with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on July 29, 2020.
Erin Scott | Reuters
The House of Representatives passed President Joe Biden’s $ 1.9 trillion stimulus package.
The House, led by Spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., Voted largely partisan early Saturday to further develop the massive relief plan, which includes expanding programs to help millions of unemployed Americans and funding from state and local governments.
With the bill slated to split the Senate between Democrats and Republicans between 50 and 50, lawmakers will offer changes to the House’s plan next week and likely pass a different version of the bill they received.
In this case, the House must pass the Senate version, or the two Houses must meet to work out a final, acceptable draft in a conference committee. Democrats are rushing to send the bill to Biden’s desk by March 14th when unemployment benefits expire.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., Stressed Thursday that millions of Americans remain in dire straits.
“This is a one-time health and economic crisis,” he wrote on Twitter. “But Republican leaders are allegedly” maneuvering “to get every single Republican member to oppose urgent, courageous COVID relief.”
“Make no mistake,” he added, “we will deliver the American bailout plan with overwhelming public support.”
Democrats have a small majority in both the House and Senate and have chosen to run Biden’s stimulus plan through a process known as budget balancing. Reconciliation allows a party to pass a bill with a simple majority, but is limited to what can be included in the bill, to those items that have a significant impact on the federal deficit.
Even though the House passed its bill with a minimum wage of $ 15 an hour, the Senate MP ruled Thursday that the raise could not be included in a reconciliation bill.
The MP’s decision underscores the fragility of the law’s makeup in the Senate, where even a single Democratic No could doom Biden’s first landmark law.
The party leadership is likely to focus on middle-of-the-road Democrats, like West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin, who are more likely to resist regulations they consider expensive or unnecessary.
On January 8, before Biden’s inauguration, some people doubted the fate of additional stimulus checks.
The Conservative Democrat said he would be “absolutely” against another round of direct payments, but later stated this in a tweet, writing, “When the next round of stimulus checks expires, they should be aimed at those who need them. “
Others, like Bernie Sanders, an independent Vermonter, have instead doubled their commitment to progressive priorities like raising the minimum wage by $ 15.
He and Senate Finance Chairman Ron Wyden, D-Ore., Are working on an amendment to the bill to penalize large companies that pay their employees less than $ 15 an hour.
– – CNBC’s Jacob Pramuk contributed to this report.