New York :
President Joe Biden could sign the aid package before March 14.
Photo: SAUL LOEB / .
After a long session, this Monday Budget Committee of the House of Representatives, chaired by the Democrat John yarmuth (Kentucky), approved with 19 votes the stimulus package of $ 1.9 billion, which now awaits its endorsement in plenary session if it advances in the Rules Committee.
“We have spent more than 100 total hours of debate in the House on this COVID relief package,” said the Yarmuth. “We have heard some good arguments, but there has also been a lot of misinformation and partisan turn … Today’s committee work brings us much closer to providing the American people with the help they desperately need.”
Added that the package must pass the Rules Committee, in order to check that the document complies with the Budget Reconciliation guidelines, before being voted on in plenary session and being sent to the Senate.
It is expected to be at the end of this week – maximum on Saturday – when the Chamber, chaired by Nancy pelosi (California), pass the bill promoted by the president Joe biden, who has hardened his stance against opposing Republicans.
“Critics say the plan is too big… Let me ask you a rhetorical question: What would you want me to cut? What would you leave out? ”, He said this Monday.
The proposal does not achieve bipartisan consensus so far, as Republicans insist that the funds are not directly destined to the battle against coronavirus, although they do not address the consequences of the pandemic that, according to economists, has led the United States to a of the worst crises.
The main objection of the Republicans has been to increase to $ 15 of the national minimum wage, an element that could cause problems for Democrats, considering that the Reconciliation rule rules out decisions that are not related to the budget.
“Much attention has been paid to Washington’s mandate of $ 15 in this bill and whether the Democrats will destroy the reconciliation process to achieve it,” said the Republican. Jason smith (Missouri).
The Republican offensive also criticizes the sending $ 350 billion dollars to state and local governments, considering that these funds will cause a hole in finances.
They are also attacking the proposal to allow health insurance to be granted to people who do not have access due to lack of work.
And in the Senate
The Senate is working on its own version of the bill, which will integrate what is proposed in the Chamber, but with other elements and it is where the fundamental changes could come, even withdrawing the salary increase.
The Chairman of the Budget Committee, the independent Bernie sanders (Vermont), defends the comprehensive plan with salary increase.
“As the very rich get richer, working class families are currently facing economic devastation.”, he expressed. “Yes. We need to increase the direct payment to $ 2,000 for workers and their children; increase to the minimum wage to $ 15 an hour; expand child credit and expand unemployment benefits ”.
While the very rich get richer, working class families today are facing economic devastation. And it is. We need to increase direct payment to $ 2000 for workers and their kids; raise the minimum wage to $ 15 an hour; expand the child tax credit and extend unemployment benefits.
– Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) February 22, 2021
The majority leader, Chuck schumer (New York), reconfirmed that senators will approve the maximum package on March 14.
“Our committees conducted several confirmation hearings and worked closely with their House colleagues to draft the COVID relief act. This process is ongoing between the members of the Senate and those of the Chamber, ”he indicated. “Democrats are still hard at work preparing the bill … which is on the way to being sent to the president’s desk before the March 14 expiration of unemployment insurance benefits.”