House approves stimulus bill with $1,400 checks
Lawmakers passed a $1.9 trillion economic rescue plan along party lines on Saturday, bringing President Joe Biden’s COVID-19 relief package a step closer to reality. The economic stimulus bill includes direct payments of $1,400 to individual taxpayers who make $75,000 or less per year or less than $150,000 for a couple. It also expands extra unemployment benefits to $400 a week and includes funding for schools, vaccines, and state and local governments. The bill now goes to the Senate for consideration.
What about a minimum wage increase? Progressive lawmakers wanted the bill to include a federally mandated $15 per hour minimum wage, but the Senate parliamentarian told them they could not make such a major policy change as part of the budget reconciliation process. Using budget reconciliation allows Democrats to pass the bill with a simple majority in the Senate rather than the 60 votes typically needed to break a filibuster.
Dig deeper: Read Harvest Prude’s analysis in The Stew of Democrats’ attempts to circumvent the Senate rules.
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