The $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill funds vaccines and another stimulus check, this time for $1,400.
According to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Americans should be expecting more concrete plans for COVID-19 relief by mid-March. On Friday, Schumer said the $1.9 trillion relief bill would be ready for President Joe Biden to sign into law by March 14.
The bill includes increase funding for COVID-19 vaccine distribution and another stimulus check, this time for $1,400, plus $400 in additional unemployment benefits through August, which is $100 more than the previous bill allowed for. One key controversial aspect of the bill is the $15 minimum-wage increase, on which, according to Forbes, Biden reportedly was not yet sold.
Sen. Bernie Sanders recently made a statement about being confident the $15 minimum wage increase would remain in the plan.
Schumer wrote a letter to his fellow Congress members and said he would not allow Republicans to obstruct the relief bill. Many in the GOP have taken issue with the bill’s price tag and are not willing to compromise on spending almost $2 trillion.
Forbes reports Republican leaders have instructed relevant parties to vote against the bill to ensure it doesn’t pass. Nicknames for the bill reportedly include “Pelosi’s Payoff to Progressives Act.”
Previous coronavirus relief bills, which were written by House Democrats, were consistently blocked and delayed during the Trump administration. Schumer requested that Republicans bring forth constructive changes and ideas when responding to the bill’s content.
If it’s not passed by March 14, more than 11 million Americans could lose their unemployment benefits. Unemployment relief was most recently extended by former President Donald Trump in late December.
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