The House of Representatives is poised to give final approval to Joe Biden’s comprehensive $ 1.9 trillion coronavirus relief and stimulus plan, a giant aid package that the president has said is critical to getting the United States out of the picture. the pandemic and revive its ailing economy.
If the House passes on Wednesday, as Democratic leaders hope, the first major legislative initiative of the Biden presidency will expedite assistance to families struggling with a year-long public health crisis and provide the most generous expansion of aid to Low-income Americans in a Generation.
It will send out-of-pocket payments of up to $ 1,400 to most Americans, expand aid to state, local, and tribal governments, provide federal grants for those struggling to pay for health insurance, housing, and food, and provide money to boost distribution and Covid-19 vaccine testing and to reopen schools safely.
Economists predict that, as one of the largest emergency rescue packages in US history, the American Rescue Plan (ARP) will accelerate economic recovery, driving growth to levels not seen in decades and dramatically slowing the number of people living in poverty.
According to one estimate, the ARP could cut child poverty by up to half, by expanding a tax credit for families with children that many Democrats want permanent.
House Democrats, who have a slim majority, were confident the measure would pass Wednesday morning, despite changes made in the Senate that threatened to alienate some progressives.
New York Congressman Hakeem Jeffries, chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, said he was “110% sure” of success. Once approved by the House, the bill will be sent to Biden for his signature.
The Senate passed the bill on Saturday in a 50-49 vote, with Democrats overcoming unified Republican opposition and a last-minute objection from Joe Manchin of West Virginia, a member of his own party.
The package presented to the House on Wednesday was narrower than Biden’s initial proposal, which included progressive priorities later removed or reduced to appease moderates like Manchin, who echoed Republicans with concerns that the aid infusion would be too big in an economy showing signs of rebirth.
A provision to increase the federal minimum wage to $ 15 an hour was deemed inadmissible under a budget process that Democrats used to bypass Republican opposition.
The version approved by the Senate strengthens eligibility for stimulus controls and restructures a proposal for unemployment benefits that Biden hoped to increase to $ 400 a week. Under the new plan, unemployment benefits will remain at $ 300 per week, but will run through early September, instead of August. The first $ 10,200 of supplements starting in 2020 will be tax-free.
Although disappointed with some of the amendments, Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, called them “relatively minor concessions” and said the overall package remained “truly progressive and bold.”
Read more about Lauren Gambino’s report here: US House Prepared to Pass Joe Biden’s $ 1.9 Billion Covid Relief Plan
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism