The House of Representatives plans to vote this week on President Joe Biden’s aid package with a new stimulus check and then send it to the Senate, where initiatives such as a minimum wage hike may face resistance from both Republican and Democratic lawmakers.
The $ 1.9 Billion Package (trillions in English) received the green light this Monday in the budget committee of the Lower House. This according to the guidelines of the mechanism known as ‘budget reconciliation’ that allows Democrats to approve it without Republican support. The plan will now go to the rules committee and from there it is expected to reach the plenary session for a vote, probably this Friday or Saturday.
“The work of the committee brings us much closer to giving the American people the help they desperately need. Next up: we go to the rules committee and then the lower house plenary later this week, before sending the rescue package to the Senate, “said Rep. John Yarmuth, chair of the budget committee.
The budget committee advanced the plan without significant changes to the items that had been raised. These include primarily a third stimulus check of $ 1,400, federal unemployment benefits of $ 400 a week and about $ 30 billion for those facing problems paying their rent or mortgage.
Likewise, the plan will go to plenary by proposing a rise in the minimum wage to $ 15 per hour, a move that has been received reluctantly by Democrats and Republicans. Measure could be challenged in the Senate if the so-called ‘Byrd rule’ is lifted provided within the ‘reconciliation’ process.
That rule, named after former legislator Robert Byrd, seeks to prevent items from entering the process that do not have to do with three main points: income, spending and deficit. Some senators may argue that the salary increase does not fully comply with what a package of aid should contain and ask that it be eliminated from the project that is finally taken to a vote.
“The additional aid must be intelligently targeted so that the government does not get in the way. But the Democrats want to patch it up as if they are preparing for another year of stagnation rather than trying to prepare for success,” said the leader. Senate Republican Mitch McConnell on Monday.
Democrats can agree to remove that provision from the plan because they need all the votes of their senators to approve the package. So far, two Democratic senators have expressed rejection of the minimum wage hike issue: Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona and Joe Manchin of West Virginia.
They could also agree to eliminate that initiative so that the package can be approved in the Senate before current federal unemployment benefits expire March 14.