Home News Democrats Clear Path for Approval of Biden’s $1.9 Trillion COVID Package

Democrats Clear Path for Approval of Biden’s $1.9 Trillion COVID Package

Democrats Clear Path for Approval of Biden’s $1.9 Trillion COVID Package

President Joe Biden and his Democratic allies in Congress forged ahead with their $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package on Friday as lawmakers approved a budget outline that will allow them to muscle Biden’s plan through in the coming weeks without Republican support.

By a party line vote of 219-209, the House of Representatives passed the budget plan, after the Senate approved it in a pre-dawn vote. Vice President Kamala Harris cast the tie-breaking vote in the Senate for the first time.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi predicted the final COVID-19 relief legislation could pass Congress before March 15, when special unemployment benefits that were added during the pandemic expire.

Meeting at the White House, Biden and top Democrats said they wanted to enact the massive aid package as quickly as possible to beat back a pandemic that has killed more than 450,000 Americans and left millions of jobless.

Biden said he was open to compromise with Republicans as long as they did not slow things down.

“If I have to choose between getting help right now to Americans who are hurting so badly and getting bogged down in a lengthy negotiation … that’s an easy choice. I’m going to help the American people hurting now,” he said.

Continued weakness in the job market, underscored by data released on Friday, proved the need for aggressive action, Biden said.

Republicans have floated a $600 billion aid package, less than a third the size of the Democratic plan. Even some Democrats, like Larry Summers, an economic adviser to former President Barack Obama, have warned that Biden might be spending too much.

Republican Representative Michael Burgess said Congress should wait until all of the previous $4 trillion in pandemic relief has been spent. He said $1 trillion has yet to go out the door.

“Why is it suddenly so urgent that we pass another $2 trillion bill?” Burgess demanded.

The budget resolution enables Democrats to pass Biden’s plan by a simple majority in the 100-member Senate instead of the 60 votes required for most legislation. That means Democrats, who control 50 seats in the 100-seat chamber, might not need Republican votes. Democrats have a 10-seat majority in the House.

In its overnight session, the Senate voted to oppose an immediate increase of the federal minimum wage from $7.25 per hour to $15 per hour. Senators also backed a motion calling for direct payments of up to $1,400 to be tailored to low-income earners. The White House says it is open to that idea.

The House vote Friday incorporated the Senate’s changes.

The approved amendments do not carry the force of law in a budget blueprint, but can serve as guidelines for developing the actual coronavirus aid bill in the coming weeks.

 

 

Eskalera, a Startup Led by Goldman Sachs’ Former HR Head Has Launched a Diversity and Inclusion Index

Eskalera, a technology startup led by Goldman Sachs former human resources head Dane Holmes, has launched an index to measure corporate diversity and inclusiveness,...

HSBC to Remove 35,000 Jobs Amidst Covid-19 Crises

HSBC Holdings Plc has restarted cutting as many as 35,000 jobs, three months after the coronavirus outbreak forced it to pause a long-awaited overhaul...

Genpact Offers Its Internal Skill Training Program Globally for Everyone

Genpact has announced Adapt and Rise, a role-based online learning platform that leverages Genpact's expertise honed from delivering real-world change for hundreds of clients....

San-Francisco Based Learning Platform Degreed Has Raised $32 Million in New Funding

The upskilling platform, Degreed, has announced $32 million in new funding in direct response to overwhelming demand for better skill insights, talent mobility, and...

Research Shows the Implications of Workplace Layouts on Employee Productivity and Overall Performance

As some workplaces prepare for the gradual return of employees and overhaul office layouts and seating plans, research has shown this could also have...

Employee Concierge ‘Back Technologies’ Integrates Automation Into Internal HR and Other Support Tasks

Companies are under increasing pressure to automate workflows and digitally service their employees, particularly in light of trends toward remote work. It takes an...

HR Strategies to Help Your Business Navigate the New ‘Normal’

No business is immune to the massive changes resulting from the health crisis. Organizations have proven themselves to be agile, and employees have demonstrated...

The Importance Of Diversity And Inclusion In HR, Hiring, Talent Management: Thoughts From A Top Expert

Michael C. Hyter is one of today’s best-known experts on inclusion and diversity and the author of The Power of Choice: Embracing Efficacy to Drive Your Career and The...

HR Expert Highlights Actionable Steps to ‘Make Real Change’ Against Racism in Your Workplace

Kyra Leigh Sutton, Ph.D., is a faculty member at the Rutgers University School of Management and Labor Relations, where she teaches human resources courses...

Adidas Employees Want Company to Investigate HR Chief for Response to Racial Issues

A group of Adidas employees from around the globe is asking the company to investigate its chief human resources officer, as part of a...