The Senate has approved Biden’s $ 1.9 billion stimulus bill – here’s what’s next

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (R), D-California, and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, DN.Y., will hold a press conference on Capitol Hill on November 6, 2020.

Nicholas Kamm | AFP | Getty Images

Senate Bypasses President Joe Biden’s Landmark $ 1.9 billion stimulus package, an important step in the development of the bill.

The Senate, led by majority leader Chuck Schumer, DN.Y., voted according to party lines on Saturday. to approve the massive Covid-19 relief plan, which includes $ 1,400 stimulus checks for many Americans, $ 350 billion in aid to state and local governments and an extension of federal unemployment benefits.

The Democratic-led House now plans to vote on Senate legislation Tuesday so President Joe Biden can sign it early in the week, according to House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer. Democrats rush to pass the package before improved unemployment benefits expire on Sunday, March 14th.

By passing the Senate version straight, the complicated step of trying to resolve the differences between the two chambers in the conference committee is avoided. Although the Senate bill is largely the same as the bill passed by the House of Representatives in late February, there are some important differences.

The most striking difference between the bill passed by the House and that approved by the Senate is that the latter does not include a federal minimum wage increase to $ 15 per hour. Senate Democrats were forced to abandon the provision after parliamentarians ruled that the chamber could not pass the salary increase for millions of Americans under budget conciliation.

Democrats in both chambers passed the U.S. rescue plan through reconciliation, a process that allows a party to pass a bill by a simple majority vote, but limits the type of provisions that can be included.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California, has already made it clear that her caucus will “absolutely” pass the Senate Bill, even if an increase in the minimum wage is to be pursued in future legislation. Pelosi praised the Senate bill in a statement Saturday as a “tremendous step forward in defeating the virus.”

“Today is a day of great progress and promise for the American people, as the Democratic Senate passed President Biden’s American rescue plan to save lives and livelihoods,” Pelosi said.

“The House now hopes to have a dual vote on this life-saving legislation and urges Republicans to join us in recognizing the devastating reality of this cruel virus and economic crisis and the need for decisive action,” she said. said.

Although Pelosi is seeking support for dual support, Republicans on Capitol Hill are virtually universally too expensive against the bill, even if raising the minimum wage is no longer included. Not one Republican has voted for Senate legislation, and Democrats are unlikely to win converts in the House.

Senate Democrats were forced to make concessions to keep moderates in their own ranks on board, namely Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia. The legislation now maintains the federal supplement to unemployment benefits at the current $ 300 per week, rather than the $ 400 in the Home Account. The change will keep the policy in place until September, rather than ending it on August 29 as the House Plan did.

Yet House Democrats are expected to have the votes to pass the Senate bill. Biden, in remarks after the Senate vote, said he expects people to start receiving stimulus checks this month.

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