Home PoliticsAfrica News Biden and the Democratic Party delivers on a promise;  COVID-19 plan, clearing the way for nearly $2 trillion in relief for Americans

Biden and the Democratic Party delivers on a promise;  COVID-19 plan, clearing the way for nearly $2 trillion in relief for Americans

by AfroWorldNews

The Senate passed a version of President Biden’s COVID-19 relief package, moving forward with the legislation containing nearly $2 trillion in benefits. The bill passed Saturday afternoon along party lines and will go to the House for a final vote.

Senate Democrats used the process of budget reconciliation to pass the bill with just 50 votes, circumventing the legislative filibuster that would have required 10 Republicans to sign on as well. Democrats in Congress had set March 14 as the deadline for delivering the bill for Biden’s signature, the date when expanded unemployment benefits for millions of Americans are set to expire.

Another change from the House bill was a reduction in the number of Americans receiving stimulus payments after Democrats in Congress tightened income thresholds, which was agreed to by the White House on Wednesday. Under the new plan, about 17 million fewer Americans will receive the checks than did under the previous guidelines, saving roughly $12 billion.

One provision that was stripped fully from the House bill was an increase of the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $15 an hour. The White House declined to overrule the Senate parliamentarian’s guidance saying the increase didn’t qualify under budget reconciliation, and passage was unlikely unless Manchin and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz. — who had opposed the measure — changed positions. Sen. Bernie Sanders attempted to include the increased minimum wage in the bill anyway, but the procedural vote failed, with eight Democrats voting against (Sens. Sinema, Manchin, Tester, Angus King of Maine, Jeanne Shaheen and Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire, and Tom Carper and Chris Coons of Delaware).

Afro World News

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