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Third stimulus check update: House passes bill, sends to Senate

Biden hails House passage of $1.9T virus bill, now to Senate

The invoice handed early Saturday on a close to party-line vote and would steer money to people, companies and states battered by COVID-19.

WASHINGTON — The Home authorized a $1.9 trillion pandemic reduction invoice that was championed by President Joe Biden, step one in offering one other dose of support to a weary nation because the measure now strikes to a tense Senate.

“Now we have no time to waste,” Biden mentioned on the White Home after the Home passage early Saturday. “We act now — decisively, rapidly and boldly — we are able to lastly get forward of this virus. We will lastly get our financial system shifting once more. Folks on this nation have suffered far an excessive amount of for too lengthy.”

The brand new president’s imaginative and prescient for infusing money throughout a struggling financial system to people, companies, faculties, states and cities battered by COVID-19 handed on a close to party-line 219-212 vote. That ships the invoice to the Senate, the place Democrats appear bent on resuscitating their minimal wage push and fights may erupt over state support and different points.

Democrats mentioned that mass unemployment and the half-million American lives misplaced are causes to behave regardless of almost $four trillion in support already spent combating the fallout from the illness. GOP lawmakers, they mentioned, have been out of step with a public that polling finds largely views the invoice favorably.

“I’m a contented camper tonight,” Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., mentioned Friday. “That is what America wants. Republicans, you must be part of this. However in case you’re not, we’re going with out you.”

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The battle can also be rising as an early take a look at of Biden’s skill to carry collectively his social gathering’s fragile congressional majorities — simply 10 votes within the Home and an evenly divided 50-50 Senate.

On the identical time, Democrats have been attempting to determine the way to assuage liberals who misplaced their high precedence in a jarring Senate setback Thursday.

That chamber’s nonpartisan parliamentarian, Elizabeth MacDonough, mentioned Senate guidelines require {that a} federal minimal wage enhance must be dropped from the COVID-19 invoice, leaving the proposal on life assist. The measure would step by step elevate that minimal to $15 hourly by 2025, doubling the present $7.25 flooring in impact since 2009.

Hoping to revive the hassle in some kind, Senate Majority Chief Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., is contemplating including a provision to the Senate model of the COVID-19 reduction invoice that may penalize massive firms that do not pay staff not less than $15 an hour, mentioned a senior Democratic aide who spoke on situation of anonymity to debate inside conversations.

That was consistent with concepts floated Thursday night time by Sens. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., a chief sponsor of the $15 plan, and Senate Finance Committee Chair Ron Wyden, D-Ore., to spice up taxes on companies that do not hit sure minimal wage targets.

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Home Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., provided encouragement, too, calling a minimal wage enhance “a monetary necessity for our households, an important stimulus for our financial system and an ethical crucial for our nation.” She mentioned the Home would “completely” approve a remaining model of the reduction invoice due to its widespread advantages, even when it lacked progressives’ treasured purpose.

Whereas Democratic leaders have been desirous to sign to rank-and-file progressives and liberal voters that they might not yield on the minimal wage battle, their pathway was unclear due to GOP opposition and questions over whether or not they had sufficient Democratic assist.

Home Methods and Means Committee Chair Richard Neal, D-Mass., sidestepped a query on taxing firms that do not enhance pay, saying of Senate Democrats, “I hesitate to say something till they determine on a method.”

Progressives have been demanding that the Senate press forward anyway on the minimal wage enhance, even when it meant altering that chamber’s guidelines and eliminating the filibuster, a tactic that requires 60 votes for a invoice to maneuver ahead.

“We’re going to should reform the filibuster as a result of we have now to have the ability to ship,” mentioned Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., one other high-profile progressive, additionally mentioned Senate guidelines should be modified, telling reporters that when Democrats meet with their constituents, “We will’t inform them that this didn’t get completed due to an unelected parliamentarian.”

Traditionalists of each events — together with Biden, who served as a senator for 36 years — have opposed eliminating filibusters as a result of they defend events’ pursuits when they’re within the Senate minority. Biden mentioned weeks in the past that he did not anticipate the minimal wage enhance to outlive the Senate’s guidelines. Democrats narrowly maintain Senate management.

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Pelosi, too, appeared to shrink back from dismantling Senate procedures, saying, “We’ll search an answer according to Senate guidelines, and we are going to accomplish that quickly.”

The Home COVID-19 invoice consists of the minimal wage enhance, so the actual battle over its destiny will happen when the Senate debates its model over the following two weeks.

Democrats are pushing the reduction measure by Congress underneath particular guidelines that may allow them to keep away from a Senate GOP filibuster, which means that if they’re united they will not want any Republican votes.

It additionally lets the invoice transfer sooner, a high precedence for Democrats who need the invoice on Biden’s desk earlier than the latest emergency jobless advantages finish on March 14.

However those self same Senate guidelines prohibit provisions with solely an “incidental” influence on the federal funds as a result of they’re mainly pushed by different coverage functions. MacDonough determined that the minimal wage provision failed that take a look at.

Republicans oppose the $15 minimal wage goal as an expense that may harm companies and value jobs.

Related Press writers Mary Clare Jalonick, Kevin Freking and Josh Boak in Washington contributed to this report.

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