WASHINGTON — A vote on President Biden’s big-spending $1.9 trillion coronavirus rescue package could happen by the end of the next week, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday.
With former President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial now over, the attention of Congress turns to passing Biden’s “American Rescue Plan,” which includes another round of $1,400 checks for eligible Americans and a boost to federal unemployment, among other provisions.
Democrats have decided to ram the package through Congress using a rare tactic known as “budget reconciliation” which will allow them to bypass any Republican dissent and pass the bailout with a simple majority vote.
Individual committees have been hammering out the details of the package, including a potential $15 minimum wage hike, before it is presented to the House floor.
“That will then go to the Rules Committee for us to vote on sometime at the end of next week, is my hope,” Pelosi told reporters at her weekly briefing Thursday.
“I feel as if we’ve worked the staff 24/7 for a number of weeks now to make sure that we stay on schedule with the American rescue plan, the Biden plan,” she said.
The enormous package is Biden’s first legislative fight as president and has been the singular focus of his administration which refused to weigh-in publicly on Trump’s impeachment trial in the Senate.
Biden and members of his cabinet have urged lawmakers to “go big” on another round of coronavirus relief to aid the nation’s staggering economy after a year of mandatory lockdowns.
But many Republicans, who presented their own $600 billion counterproposal, believe such a large stimulus bill is not needed and would only add to the ballooning national debt.
Biden has also faced dissent from several moderate members of the Democratic party, including Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia who has called for more targeted stimulus checks.