President Joe Biden won his first legislative victory with the approval of his $ 1.9 trillion in-house package to combat the effects of the pandemic on the U.S. economy, although the Democratic plan to use the measure to raise the minimum wage has been frustrated.
Democrats, who control the House, approved the measure by a 219-212 vote and sent it to the Senate, where they are planning a maneuver that would allow the measure to be approved without the backing of Republican lawmakers.
The US bailout, as it has been named by the government, is expected to be used to pay for vaccines and medical supplies and allow a new round of financial assistance to families, small businesses, state and local governments.
“The American people need to know that their government is on their side,” Speaker Nancy Pelosi said during a plenary debate.
Republicans, who previously supported spending on the pandemic, said much of the current package was unnecessary, saying only 9% of the total would go directly to tackling the virus.
The House vote was a successful test for Democrats, who hold a slim majority in the House. The party’s progressives and moderates, often at odds, will face tougher battles over issues such as migration and climate change.
The most expensive items in the project include payments of US $ 1,400 to individuals, federal unemployment insurance of US $ 400 per week until August 29, and assistance to those who have difficulty paying rent and expenses. mortgages during the pandemic.
The executive order now goes to the Senate, where Democratic Vice President Kamala Harris may have to vote for the tiebreaker in a chamber where Republicans control 50 seats and Democrats and their allies control the other 50.
Democrats, however, will have to decide how to deal with the proposal included in the minimum wage increase measure, a change that cannot be approved by a simple majority in the Senate, but would require at least 60 of the House’s 100 votes. The party may decide to withdraw the clause from the decree to facilitate the approval of senators.