House Democrats Poised to Pass Biden’s $1.9 Trillion Relief Plan Despite Setback on Minimum Wage


House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) arrives at the Capitol on Friday.

The president’s wide-ranging relief bill is expected to clear the House on Friday night along party lines


The House moved toward a vote Friday on President Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus plan, with Democrats pushing forward despite united GOP opposition to the massive relief package aimed at stabilizing the economy and boosting coronavirus vaccinations and testing.


Biden’s first major legislative package has the overwhelming support of House Democrats, who narrowly control the chamber. Republicans are expected to oppose the legislation en masse, ensuring a sharply partisan outcome just a month after Biden was inaugurated with calls for bipartisanship and unity.


The vote was expected late Friday. House passage would send the legislation to the Senate, where bigger fights await.


The action in the House comes a day after the Senate parliamentarian ruled that the $15 minimum wage in the legislation is not permitted under Senate rules. Nonetheless, House Democrats intend to pass the legislation with the $15 minimum wage included, and it is unclear how the issue will ultimately get resolved.


Beyond the minimum-wage increase, the sprawling relief bill would provide $1,400 stimulus payments to tens of millions of American households; extend enhanced federal unemployment benefits through August; provide $350 billion in aid to states, cities, U.S. territories and tribal governments; and boost funding for vaccine distribution and coronavirus testing — among myriad other measures, such as nutritional assistance, housing aid and money for schools.


Democrats hope to push the legislation through both chambers and get it signed into law by March 14, when enhanced unemployment benefits are set to expire. It is uncertain whether disputes over the minimum wage or other issues could complicate that timeline.

On Thursday night, the Senate’s parliamentarian ruled the wage hike as written could not proceed under “reconciliation,” the budgetary maneuver Democrats are using to pass the stimulus bill through the Senate without GOP votes.


Liberals erupted, with some even suggesting the nonpartisan parliamentarian should be fired, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said the wage increase would stay in the bill, at least for now.


“The Senate parliamentarian’s ruling is disappointing; raising the minimum wage would give 27M+ Americans a raise during this devastating economic crisis,” Pelosi said Thursday night on Twitter. “House Dems are determined to #FightFor15. This policy will remain in [the bill] and pass tomorrow.”


Democrats hope to push the legislation through both chambers and get it signed into law by March 14, when enhanced unemployment benefits are set to expire. It is uncertain whether disputes over the minimum wage or other issues could complicate that timeline.

On Thursday night, the Senate’s parliamentarian ruled the wage hike as written could not proceed under “reconciliation,” the budgetary maneuver Democrats are using to pass the stimulus bill through the Senate without GOP votes.


Liberals erupted, with some even suggesting the nonpartisan parliamentarian should be fired, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said the wage increase would stay in the bill, at least for now.


“The Senate parliamentarian’s ruling is disappointing; raising the minimum wage would give 27M+ Americans a raise during this devastating economic crisis,” Pelosi said Thursday night on Twitter. “House Dems are determined to #FightFor15. This policy will remain in [the bill] and pass tomorrow.”



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