House Democrats are expected to pass the final version of a $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package on Tuesday, thus delivering on Democrats’ campaign promises and cementing a major legislative victory for the Biden administration.
The Senate voted 50-49 to approve the plan on Saturday, with all Democrats voting in support of the measure — and all Republicans opposed — following a marathon debate of more than 24 hours. President Biden lauded the Senate passage in remarks Saturday.
The colossal package would bring a new round of payments to Americans still battling against the economic impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, and it includes an increase to the child tax credit and an extension of supplemental unemployment benefits through Sept. 6.
Democrats are eager to get the final bill to Biden’s desk for his signature before current federal unemployment benefits expire on March 14.
In a statement on Saturday, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said he expects the president to be able to sign the legislation early this week.
“Democrats are delivering on our promise to take action to defeat this virus and provide the assistance the American people need until our economy can reopen safely and fully,” the Maryland Democrat added.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said on Saturday that the package, known as the American Rescue Plan, will “save lives and livelihoods.”
“The House now hopes to have a bipartisan vote on this life-saving legislation and urges Republicans to join us in recognition of the devastating reality of this vicious virus and economic crisis and of the need for decisive action,” she said in a statement.
But bipartisan support is unlikely. Republicans have roundly criticized the legislation and Democrats’ strategy of going it alone in the Senate via the process of budget reconciliation to pass the package without any Republican support.
In a CNBC interview on Wednesday, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., called the bill a “wish list from the progressives,” a label that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., echoed on the Senate floor Saturday.
“Democrats decided their top priority wasn’t pandemic relief,” he said. “It was their Washington wish list. It was jamming through unrelated policy changes they couldn’t pass honestly. A colossal missed opportunity for our nation.”