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Home News Biden’s Covid-19 relief bill including stimulus checks passes the House

Biden’s Covid-19 relief bill including stimulus checks passes the House

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Democrats have gotten over an important hurdle in Covid-19 relief: The House of Representatives just passed its version of the $1.

9 trillion stimulus package, sending it off to the Senate.

It includes $1,400 stimulus checks for those making up to $75,000, $400 expanded weekly unemployment insurance benefits through August 29, and billions of dollars for arenas such as schools, state and local governments, and restaurants.

The bill also includes a $15 federal minimum wage, though the provision is dead in the Senate.

The Senate parliamentarian ruled on Thursday evening that the minimum wage hike cannot be passed under the rules of budget reconciliation.

In a statement on Thursday, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) said he is “deeply disappointed” in the ruling but noted that House Democrats will pass the bill as is, even though it will ultimately change in the Senate.

“Gradually raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour remains a centerpiece of House Democrats’ economic plan and would provide a major boost in income to 27 million Americans while lifting nearly a million out of poverty,” he said.

Senate Democrats are considering some workarounds on the minimum wage, though it’s unclear if they will stick.

Now that the House has passed a version of the bill, it will head to the Senate, which is likely to make some changes to the text.

After that, it’s likely to get bounced back to the House, which would need to pass whatever the eventual agreed-on version of the legislation would be before it lands on President Joe Biden’s desk.

The clock is ticking: Expanded and extended unemployment insurance under the last 0 billion stimulus package, passed in December, ends on March 14.

Democrats and many economists have for months argued that the risk on the federal government’s pandemic response is doing too little, not too much, to help the country and the economy.


Democrats, including the president, have argued that it’s an important moment for deficit spending to help people in need, also noting that interest rates are low and are expected to stay that way for quite some time.

“Every major economist thinks we should be investing in deficit spending in order to generate economic growth,” Biden told reporters in January.

Before Summers’s op-ed was posted, Austan Goolsbee, another Obama economic alum, published an op-ed in the New York Times warning that the country could fall into a double-dip recession, meaning the economy could get better and then fall again, and called for a proactive response from the federal government.

The House bill cut off a month of expanded unemployment insurance, which Biden initially proposed extending through September.

Democrats also opted against including automatic stabilizers in the bill, which would tie supports such as unemployment insurance to economic conditions rather than arbitrary end dates.

That the House has passed a version of the package doesn’t mean the process is over — there’s still quite a way to go before it lands in the Oval Office — but it’s an important step.