The U.S. House will take on the Senate’s $ 1.9 trillion coronavirus bill by Wednesday: Pelosi
© Reuters. House spokesman Pelosi speaks to a reporter as the House opens the debate in Washington on President Biden’s Senate version of COVID-19 relief plan
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. House of Representatives will by Wednesday host the Senate version of the $ 1.9 trillion comprehensive coronavirus aid package backed by President Joe Biden, spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi said Monday.
The Democrats are nearing final approval of one of the largest poverty alleviation measures in the US since the 1960s and want to pass the massive laws by Sunday, when the federal improved unemployment benefits expire.
The Senate passed its version of the bill after an overnight marathon vote on Saturday. The Senate version eliminated or reduced some provisions contained in the House bill that raised the federal minimum wage to $ 15 an hour and extended extended unemployment benefits through August 29.
After it passes the Senate, it must be re-approved by the House of Representatives before it can get to Biden’s desk and be incorporated into law.
Pelosi told reporters at the Capitol that the timing of a floor vote “depends on when we get the paper from the Senate.”
“We would record it by Wednesday morning at the latest,” she said.
Like the Senate, the Democrats hold a very narrow majority in the chamber, which means they can’t stand up to many votes against the bill.
The first version of the bill was passed in the House of Representatives without a single Republican vote. Two moderate Democrats voted together with the Republicans against this version. One of them, Oregon Representative Kurt Schrader, said Monday he would now vote for the bill with the Senate amendments.
“My concerns remain about the size and scope of this bill, but I believe the Senate changes will bring significant relief to Oregonians in need,” Schrader wrote on Facebook (NASDAQ :).
“Funding our local governments, small businesses, schools, families, health care providers and expanding unemployment benefits will be a lifeline for many,” he said of the legislation.
Republicans, who broadly supported coronavirus aid at the start of the pandemic, have criticized the price of the Biden aid package.
On Friday, while the Senate vote was still pending, House Democrat lawmaker Bonnie Watson Coleman said she was “disgusted” by some changes in the Senate bill and asked if she could support it. A spokesman for her office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
But Representative Pramila Jayapal, director of the Congressional Progressive (NYSE 🙂 caucus, told reporters she thought members of the group would support what she described as “phenomenal” legislation that met most of its members’ priorities.
White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki praised the legislation at a press conference, saying that while there are some changes to the margins, it is the “core” of what Biden originally proposed.
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