Pelosi Aims to Pass $1.9T Relief Bill

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Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said Thursday she hoped to pass a $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief plan. Saying “Sometime at the end of next week.” Despite Republican opposition to its components. The Democrats want to pass an extension of unemployment benefits set to expire by mid-March. CNBC. Pelosi said House leaders will remain in contact with the Senate about what can be included in the relief package. It’s under budget reconciliation, which enables Democrats to approve the plan without Republican votes.

Democrats were eager to pass the bill to speed up COVID-19 vaccinations. And aid jobless Americans as the U.S. continues to endure the coronavirus pandemic. 

A bill based around vaccine distribution money had been backed by some Republicans. Democrats controlling the House and the White House insisted a more robust plan was needed.

Federal Unemployment Supplement

$300 per week federal unemployment supplement and provisions expanding eligibility for insurance. The benefits will expire March 14 unless Congress acts. Democrats want to provide payments of $400 per week through Aug. 29. 

The Democrats’ plan extends the pandemic-era jobless programs, which offer benefits to self-employed and independent contract workers. More than 18 million Americans overall were collecting unemployment benefits.

The relief package also would send $1,400 direct payments to most Americans, and up to $3,600 per child to households.

The package also would boost a national vaccination program with $20 billion; state, local, and tribal aid with $350 billion; and K-12 schools and colleges with $170 billion for reopening and student aid costs.

But Republicans criticized the plan’s overall cost. They raised concerns about the amount of money going into stimulus checks and schools.

Because House Democrats wanted to raise the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2025. The Senate parliamentarian will decide if that proposal complies with rules for budget bills.

So even if the proposal does comply, Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz. They don’t like raising the minimum wage.

It’s a 50-50 Senate party makeup. One Democrat vote against the relief bill would prevent it from being approved.

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