The House passed President Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion stimulus plan on Saturday in an almost party-line vote. This marks a significant step for the massive COVID-19 pandemic relief plan. It aims to provide financial aid for unemployed Americans, grappling families, schools, businesses, and the dissemination of COVID-19 vaccines.
COVID-19 Relief Bill Passed
The vote was 219 to 212. Democrats pushed the measure over unanimous Republican resistance.
The House approval is one step closer to disseminating $1,400 stimulus checks to United States citizens. This will also extend financial assistance for unemployment through the summer. No Republicans voted for the package. Two Democrats voted against it, Jared Golden, D-Maine, and Rep. Kurt Schrader, D-Ore.
This will send the measure to the Senate as Democrats race to pass it into law before bolstered unemployment payments expire in March. It is also a significant step toward enacting the White House's first major legislative priority in the midst of dueling public health and economic crises, reported Politico.
With the coronavirus relief plan's passage, Democrats are still searching for a way to revive their derailed drive to bolster the minimum wage. The measure embodies President Biden's push to transmit cash to individuals, businesses, cities, and states.
According to Democrats, the still-faltering economy and the half-million American lives lost entailed a swift and decisive response. Republican lawmakers were out of step with a public that polling exhibits largely in favor of the bill, reported WJHL.
The opposition of the Republicans underscores the razor-thin margins by which Democrats have to pass Biden's legislative agenda. This is a 50-50 Senate majority and 10 House votes.
According to House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) in a statement in support of the sprawling measure, "This is a situation that calls for bold action." He stated this is not the time for small actions and that the American Rescue Plan meets this moment. He added it would extend vaccines and testing, keep families in their homes, and ensure food is provided on their table. He also said it would help schools reopen safely because in-person learning is important and will help small businesses keep their doors open. He said that history would record who stood for rescue and recovery at this point and or who stood for a "pause," reported NY1.
The Senate is slated to take up the legislation next week. This is after the chamber's parliamentarian decided that Democrats cannot include a $15 minimum wage in the proposal due to budgetary concerns.
The Democrat lawmakers who did not vote in favor of the bill also opposed a $3 trillion bill last May that ultimately failed. According to Golden in defense of his decision, "During challenging times, the country needs its elected leaders to work together to meet the most urgent needs in their communities." He added the bill addresses urgent needs and then buries them under a heap of unnecessary expenditure, reported Fox News.
House Democrats kept the measure in their version of the legislation. It will be taken up again before Congress could transfer it to the White House for Biden's signature by mid-March.