$ 1.9 trillion bill likely to go to Biden for signature despite unanimous opposition from Republicans
WASHINGTON – The US House of Representatives prepares for a final vote on a Senate-approved version of the $ 1.9 trillion economic aid package for the coronavirus pandemic.
The Democratic-controlled House of Representatives is expected to vote Wednesday morning, after which the bill will be sent to President Joe Biden for signature.
“This is a purely formal question. But we’re going to vote as soon as possible, ”Democrat Catherine Clarke told CNN.
Over the weekend, Biden’s plan was slightly overwhelmed by the Senate after some changes were made to a version previously approved by the House of Representatives. The House of Representatives is now expected to approve the Senate bill without further changes.
It is assumed that the initiative will be supported exclusively by the Democrats. Republicans consider the fiscal package too large and insufficiently targeted.
“Today we are on the verge of historical events. In the very near future, we will send the bill on the largest and most progressive investments in modern history to the President of the United States, ”said Democrat Jim McGovern, who chairs the House of Representatives Committee on Rules.
“The bill is going on an offensive against inequality and poverty like we haven’t seen in a generation,” he added.
However, Republican Congressman Michael Burgess said that the aid is not sufficiently targeted, as payments of $ 1,400 are supposed to be sent to everyone who earns no more than $ 75 thousand a year, “including those who may not have lost their jobs or faced layoffs. employment “due to the coronavirus.
The Senate removed or trimmed some provisions of the original House bill, including raising the federal minimum wage to $ 15 an hour.
Senate amendments must be approved by the House of Representatives before the document reaches Biden’s desk.
Member of the Democratic leadership in the House of Representatives, Congressman Hakim Jeffries told reporters: “We will pass this bill, I hope some Republicans will support it as well.”
However, none of the Republicans supported the plan when it was first considered by the House of Representatives, and no one voted for it in the Senate.
House Republican Conference Chairwoman Liz Cheney told reporters on Tuesday that the bill would raise taxes.
“We will shoulder the cost and tax burden, which is completely unwarranted in terms of the gains that this will actually lead to,” she said.
Democrats have a very modest majority in the House of Representatives, which means that without Republican support, they can afford to lose the votes of only a few party members to pass the bill.
Two moderate Democrats joined the Republicans in voting against the bill when it first went to the House of Representatives. One of them, Kurt Schrader, said on Monday that he will now support the Senate-amended version.
White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki praised the bill, saying that, despite some amendments, it represents the “core” of Biden’s original proposals.