If Democrats cannot find a way to include the wage increase in the stimulus measure, the bill could lose the support of progressives, although Ms Pelosi said the House would “absolutely” pass the measure without salary increase if necessary.
“I don’t think we can go back to the voters and say, ‘Look, I know the Republicans, Democrats, Independents are backing this; we promised it, but because of an unelected parliamentarian who gave us a decision, we couldn’t do it, ”Rep. Pramila Jayapal, Washington Democrat and President of the Congressional Progressive, told reporters. Caucus. “There are a lot of good things in the package, but if it’s watered down, that’s a whole other problem. So we just have to see what it looks like. “
Democrats have adopted the comprehensive stimulus package as essential for the economy. It would offer direct payments of $ 1,400 to people earning up to $ 75,000 a year and couples earning up to $ 150,000, and would increase a weekly federal unemployment benefit from $ 300 to $ 400. $ per week and extending it until the end of August. It would also increase the value of the child tax credit; providing more than $ 50 billion for vaccine distribution, testing and tracing; and directing nearly $ 200 billion to elementary and secondary schools and $ 350 billion to state, local and tribal governments.
The bill, once cleared in the House, will be sent to the Senate, where it is expected to be amended. It would then be sent back to the House for a final vote before going to the White House for Mr Biden’s signature.
House Republicans were expected to oppose the legislation with a few exceptions. They argued that the plan is too expensive and contains provisions unrelated to combating the pandemic. And while their party members used the reconciliation process twice in 2017 to bypass the Democratic opposition to their highest priorities – once to impose a $ 1.5 trillion tax cut and once in a failed attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act – they complained that they were preventing them from drafting the stimulus package.
“This is not a relief bill,” Republican leader Kevin McCarthy of California said at his weekly press conference. “He takes care of the political allies of the Democrats, while he fails to meet the needs of American families.”
Like many Republicans on Capitol Hill, he wore a “No Pelosi Payout” sticker.
“We already know what the best stimulus package is out there: it’s to completely reopen our economy,” McCarthy said.