The lower chamber of the US Congress approved President Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package, as the Democratic lawmakers steered the aid bill towards approval. On Saturday, the bill cleared the House of Representatives on a party-line of 219-222.
That ships the bill to the upper chamber, where the Republican lawmakers have already balked at the price tag of the stimulus package and are bent on resuscitating their minimum wage push. In response, the newly-elected President welcomed the approval and hoped that the Senate would take it up quickly. While talking to the news reporters on Saturday, he said that there was no time left to waste.
- Democrats Clear Path For $1.9 Trillion Coronavirus Relief Package
- Republicans Press Biden To Cut $1.9 Trillion Coroanvirus Relief Package
Days ago, the House Rules Committee dismissed the Republican efforts to revise the aid package and sent it to the House floor for debate. While the Republican lawmakers criticized the bill as too expensive, Democratic lawmakers maintained that the bill was too important to fight the pandemic outbreak that so far killed more than 500,000 people in the US.
The measure will pay for the vaccination drive, medical supplies, and a new round of stimulus to millions of unemployed Americans, small businesses, local and state governments. Meanwhile, the Democratic congressional leaders aimed to get the bill signed b Biden before mid-March when federal unemployment benefits are set to expire.
However, the analysts suggest that the White House cannot add the minimum wage article to the bill. Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi maintained that the aid package would pass the US Congress with or without the increase in minimum age. While talking at a news conference, the top Democrat said that they would not stop until they pass the $15 minimum wage.
On the other hand, the Republicans, who previously supported the massive coronavirus spending by the former Trump administration, have maintained that another $1.9 trillion is too much. Meanwhile, the nationwide opinion polls have found a majority of the population in favor of the proposed bill. in his first weeks in the presidential office, President Biden has focused his attention on tackling the country’s biggest public health crisis.
The aid bill is expected to increase the federal minimum wage for the first time since 2009 and it remains a top priority for the progressive Democratic congressional leaders. Yet, it is unlikely to win approval from the 50-50 Senate, where vice president Kamala Harris holds the tie-breaking vote.
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