Wednesday, 05 May, 2021


United States passes massive Covid relief bill after marathon 'vote-a-rama'

Joe Manchin's West Virginia counterpart has 'no idea what he's doing': report Covid-19: US Democrats push ahead with relief plan
Patty Aguilar | 10 March, 2021, 04:30

"How will you convince President Biden to go along with that tactic?"

The House bill had set the supplemental benefit at $520 a week, but Senate Democrats finally agreed to knock that down to $390.

The Senate-approved package includes expanded unemployment benefits through September 6 at $300 a week (the first $10,200 of jobless benefits would be non-taxable for households with incomes under $150,000); $60 billion towards Covid-19 testing and vaccine distribution; $130 billion to help schools reopen safely; $25 billion to help bars and restaurants; $7.25 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program; $350 billion in emergency funding for state, local and territorial governments; and $30 billion to help low-income households and the unemployed afford rent and utilities.

Republicans had opposed Mr Biden's proposal as too expensive, and complained he had not fulfilled his promise to work with all sides as president.

How did Democrats and Republicans respond to the bill?

Joe Manchin (D-WV), are now - and could continue to be as Biden looks to follow up on the rescue plan with an even larger infrastructure and climate change bill, among other items on his agenda.

Earlier this week, Republican Senator Ron Johnson objected to waiving the reading of the legislation, insisting that the entire 628-page bill be read out loud, a process that took almost 11 hours.

"We certainly recognize that we can't just sign a bill", she told reporters.

President Joe Biden's name will not be on the American Rescue Plan $1,400 payments to eligible Americans, White House press secretary Jen Psaki announced Tuesday.

Many of these people have very low incomes and are not normally required to file tax returns.

"Democrats are delivering on our promise to take action to defeat this virus and provide the assistance the American people need until our economy can reopen safely and fully", the Maryland Democrat added.

The Senate broke the record for the largest single vote in the modern era - 11 hours and 50 minutes - as Democrats negotiated unemployment benefits on a moderate basis to satisfy centrists such as Senator Joe Manchin, who anxious that so much Larger packages can heat the economy.

"That means the mortgage can get paid", Biden said. The current 300 dollars per week payments expire on March 14 and Democrats want the bill on Biden's desk by then to avert a lapse.

Closing in on final approval of one of the biggest US anti-poverty measures since the 1960s, Democrats aim to enact the massive legislation by Sunday, when enhanced federal unemployment benefits are set to expire.

The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, a nonpartisan watchdog group, said in a statement that while experts across the political spectrum have raised concerns about the size of the package, it could ultimately cost twice as much.

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