(Washington) The House of Representatives on Saturday approved the massive $ 1900 billion stimulus package that Joe Biden wanted thanks to the Democrats’ votes alone, a crucial first step before it is considered in the Senate where the increase should be in the minimum wage. abandoned.
Time is running out to support the world’s largest economy, hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. The new Democratic president initially wanted to see the “American bailout” he adopted in early February.
Faced with the delay, he urged Congress this week to “act quickly.”
After hours of debate, the bill was adopted overnight in the House of Representatives by 219 votes, all Democrats, to 212 (including two Democrats), and Republicans denounced the expensive and poorly targeted measures.
“The text has been approved,” said Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House of Representatives for the Democratic Party, shortly after 2 am, to applause from her group.
The text will be sent to the Senate next week, where the measure to increase the minimum income – up to $ 15 an hour, by 2025 – is expected to be withdrawn.
To be sure, the Democrats are counting on their narrow majorities in the Senate to get approval in turn.
The final version of the text will then return to the House of Representatives, with Democratic leaders on Friday saying they have enough votes to finally pass the stimulus plan, with or without an increase in the minimum wage.
Majority Leader Steny Hoyer warned that “we must agree to this plan before March 14,” when payment of the protracted unemployment benefits in a previous aid plan stops.
After a year of pandemic and economic crisis, Americans need to know their government is working for them. And that’s as President Biden said: “Help is coming,” Nancy Pelosi said before the vote.
“If we do not implement this assistance plan, the results could be catastrophic,” she added.
On the other hand, Republicans denounced the gigantic plan that “does nothing but throw money down the drain.”
“But will it help people get back to work?” No, “he accused Republican minority leader Kevin McCarthy.
“The Democrats are so ashamed of all the non-COVID-19 money wasted in this text that they put it in the middle of the night.”
It was an unknown figure in Congress who opposed the advancement of this massive plan Thursday evening.
Elizabeth McDonough, will to complex procedures in the Senate, ruled that the provision could not include the increase in the hourly minimum wage set forth in the bill.
If some progressives were disgruntled and called for the rule of this “parliamentarian”, an unelected official, to be overlooked, Joe Biden said Thursday evening that he “respects him.” While he announced that he would separately try to pay the increase in the federal minimum wage, currently at $ 7.25 an hour.
A path is also anticipated Friday evening by Democratic leaders in Congress.
“It is inevitable, in our eyes of all, to achieve the minimum wage of $ 15,” Nancy Pelosi said on the bike, promising to work there “actively”.
Pulling back the minimum wage increase may ultimately facilitate the adoption of the subsidy scheme, as some moderate Democrats opposed the measure.
However, with its small majority in the Senate, and Republicans opposing the Biden plan, the party inevitably needs unity to get this bill passed.
However, Senator Bernie Sanders and other progressive Democrats are considering an alternative to encourage higher minimum income: an amendment to the broad support scheme creates tax penalties for large companies that pay less than the “subsistence minimum.”
But moderate Democrats might oppose it. And a “parliamentarian” too.
In the face of uncertainty, top US presidents are calling for swift action.
In detail, Biden’s plan provides for tens of billions of dollars to speed up vaccinations and deploy tests, but also $ 130 billion to help schools and high schools reopen despite the pandemic.
New aid checks for $ 1,400 are expected to be sent to Americans, depending on their income level and the duration of their extended unemployment benefits through September 30, 2021.