US President Joe Biden scored his first legislative victory when the House of Representatives approved the $ 1.9 trillion coronavirus aid package he proposed earlier this Saturday, though Democrats face challenges. challenges in their hope of turning to the project to raise the minimum wage.
Democrats, who control the House, approved the measure by a majority party vote of 219-212 and sent it to the Senate, where they planned a legislative maneuver to allow it to pass without Republican support.
The bailout would bank vaccines and medical supplies and make a new round of emergency financial aid available to families, small businesses, and state and local governments.
The most expensive items in the bill include $ 1,400 in family allowances, $ 400 in federal unemployment insurance per week until August 29, and help for those struggling to pay rent and mortgages during the pandemic.
Democrats said the package was needed to fight a pandemic that has killed more than 500,000 Americans and left millions unemployed.
“The American people need to know that their government is on their side,” Speaker Nancy Pelosi said during a debate in the House.
Republicans, who have broadly backed previous spending against Covid-19, said much of the current package was unnecessary, highlighting features such as a subway near the San Francisco neighborhood, represented by Pelosi. Only 9% of the total would go directly to tackling the virus, they said.
“He’s just throwing money away without accountability,” Republican House Leader Kevin McCarthy said.
The House vote was a successful first test for Democrats, who hold a narrow majority of 221 to 211 in the House. The party’s progressives and moderates, often at odds, will have to face tougher battles before the immigration and climate change initiatives Biden wants to promote.
The president focused his first weeks in office dealing with the biggest public health crisis in the United States in a century, which changed many aspects of American life.
Democrats intend the bill to be signed by Biden before mid-March, when the increase in UI and certain other types of aid expires.
The text now goes to the Senate, where Vice President Democrat Kamala Harris may have to vote for the tiebreaker in a House where Republicans control 50 seats and Democrats and their allies control the other 50.