Biden is expected to sign the bill quickly to prevent millions of Americans from losing increased unemployment benefits, which will expire over the weekend. The Democratic move replenishes weekly unemployment benefits of $ 300 through September 6th.
The comprehensive plan includes public health interventions, including billions of dollars to support vaccinations and help reopen schools. It also includes a one-time expansion of federal safety net programs, including a child tax break, which is a guaranteed income for families with children.
Almost every Democrat is expected to endorse the legislation, including progressives who remain angry that their party was forced to remove one of their key policy goals from the law – raising the federal minimum wage to $ 15 an hour. Top Democrats, including Biden himself, have vowed to make raising the minimum wage a priority for the remainder of his tenure, though consolidating centrist support for the rise will be challenging.
House liberals were also disappointed with some of the changes that moderate Senate Democrats, led by West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin, had made to the bill. Optimizations passed by the Senate include a weekly unemployment benefit hike that ends about a month earlier than the Democrats originally decided.
The Republicans of the House remain in lockstep against the bill. Kevin McCarthy, minority chairman of the House of Representatives, described it as “the most expensive spending bill ever”.
A group of Conservatives took these grievances further by growling the floor of the house on Wednesday morning, forcing a procedural vote that could slow the final passage of Covid’s aid package – the most recent use of delaying tactics the law used as a weapon this year Has.
“I just moved a motion to adjourn to prevent Congress from approving the progressive Democrats’ massive $ 1.9 trillion wish list,” Georgian MP Marjorie Taylor Greene, who forced the procedural vote, said on Twitter. “The GOP wrote against this ridiculous bill. We should do everything we can to stop it. “
Jim McGovern (D-Mass.), Chairman of the House Rules Committee, criticized the Conservative game of chess and spoke to reporters on Wednesday morning.
“I honestly find it incomprehensible that they are doing everything they can to delay the need for help – including their constituents who are in dire need of help,” said McGovern.