Parliament passed President Joe Biden’s $ 1.9 trillion stimulus package, kicking off likely days of debate and political deal in and around the Senate.
The House, led by Spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., Voted largely on a partisan basis early Saturday to advance the massive relief plan, which includes expanding programs to help millions of unemployed Americans and financial backing from state and local governments includes.
“Now the bill is going to the United States Senate, where I hope it will be implemented quickly. We have no time to waste,” Biden said during a briefing on Saturday morning.
“If we act decisively, quickly and courageously now, we can finally be one step ahead of this virus,” continued Biden. “We can finally get our economy going again.”
With the bill for a 50:50 split of the Senate between Democrats and Republicans, lawmakers will offer changes to the House’s plan and likely pass a different version of the bill it has received.
In this case, the House must pass the Senate version, or the two Houses must meet to work in a conference committee to work out a final, acceptable legal act. Democrats are rushing to send the bill to Biden’s desk by March 14th when unemployment benefits expire.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, DN.Y., stressed Thursday that millions of Americans remain in dire economic straits.
“This is a one-time health and economic crisis,” he wrote on Twitter. “But Republican leaders are reportedly” 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 thin majority in the House and Senate and have chosen to run Biden’s stimulus package 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 composition in the Senate, where even a single democratic no could doom Biden’s first landmark law to failure.
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 Vermont-independent Bernie Sanders, have doubled their commitment to progressive priorities like raising the minimum wage by $ 15.
He and Senate Finance Chairman Ron Wyden, D-Ore., Were working on an amendment to the bill that would penalize large corporations that pay their employees less than $ 15 an hour.
However, on Sunday evening, a person familiar with the matter told CNBC that the $ 15 minimum wage scheme proposed by Wyden and Sanders would not be included in the Senate version of the bill.
– CNBC’s Jacob Pramuk and Ylan Mui contributed to this report.