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  • D. Brit

House Passes Biden's $1.9 Trillion Covid Relief Bill

What's Happening:

  • Late Friday, the House of Representatives passed President Biden's $1.9 Trillion Covid-19 Relief Bill. The final vote tally was 219-212 with two Democrats breaking party lines and voting against and no Republicans voting for the bill.

  • Now the bill will go to the Senate which is expected to modify the existing bill according to the conditions set forth by the Senate parliamentarian a few days back. One of the key changes that the Senate is expected to make before voting is to remove the proposed minimum wage hike to $15 per hour.

  • On Thursday, the Senate parliamentarian ruled that the $15 per hour increase did not meet the guidelines needed to move forward under the Senate's reconciliation process. Democrats plan on using reconciliation to pass the bill with a simple majority rather than the 2/3 typically needed to pass a bill in the Senate.

  • Should the modified bill pass in the Senate, it will go back to the House for a second vote.

  • The package includes $1,400 stimulus checks to Americans making less than 75,000 annually, aid for small businesses, an increase in the child tax credit, direct funding to state and local governments, funding for schools and additional funding for vaccine distribution.

  • The bill, which has over a 75% approval rating from Americans, has been universally panned by the GOP who say the price tag is too high and that it must be modified. The Senate vote is expected to be purely along party lines.

  • If passed, the emergency legislation would add to the trillions in debt the US has already accumulated during the pandemic. Biden feels that this additional spending and borrowing is essential to prevent the economy from falling into an even deeper hole.

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