November 30, 2023

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

Nicholas Comb | AFP | Getty Images

The Senate has passed President Joe Biden’s landmark $ 1.9 trillion Stimulus package, an important step in the development of the law into law.

The Senate, led by Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, DN.Y., voted according to party lines on Saturday Approve the massive Covid-19 relief plan, which includes $ 1,400 for many Americans, $ 350 billion for state and local governments, and an increase in federal unemployment benefits.

The Democratic-run house now plans to vote on the Senate legislation on Tuesday so that President Joe Biden can sign it earlier this week, according to House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer. Democrats are trying to get the package off the ground before the increased unemployment benefits expire on Sunday March 14th.

The complete approval of the Senate version avoids the complicated step of eliminating differences between the two chambers in the conference committee. While the Senate bill is largely the same as the bill passed by the House of Representatives in late February, there are some key differences.

The most notable difference between the bill the House passed and the Senate-approved bill is that the latter does not include an increase in the federal minimum wage to $ 15 an hour. Senate Democrats were forced to abandon this provision after the MP ruled that the House could not pass the raise for millions of Americans as part of the budget vote.

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

House spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., Has already made it clear that her caucus will “absolutely” pass Senate law, even if future legislation must seek to raise the minimum wage. In a statement on Saturday, Pelosi praised the Senate bill as “a huge step forward in defeating the virus”.

“Today is a day of 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 is now hoping for a bipartisan vote on this life-saving legislation and urges Republicans to join us in recognizing the devastating reality of this vicious virus and economic crisis and the need for decisive action,” she said.

Despite Pelosi calling for bipartisan support, Republicans on Capitol Hill almost everywhere reject the bill as being too expensive, even if it no longer includes the minimum wage increase. Not a single Republican voted for Senate legislation, and Democrats are unlikely to win converts in the House.

Senate Democrats were forced to make concessions to keep the moderates on board in their own ranks, namely Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia. Legislation now stipulates that the federal unemployment benefit surcharge is currently $ 300 per week, instead of $ 400 on the home bill. The change would hold the policy until September rather than ending on August 29 as the House’s plan did.

Still, the House Democrats are expected to have the votes to pass the Senate bill. In a comment following the Senate vote, Biden said he expected people to receive stimulus checks starting this month.