Biden’s giant stimulus to move home easily, Democrats say
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President Joe Biden’s $ 1.9 trillion package will pass through the House during consideration of the bill on March 9, according to lawmakers and Democratic aides, even after proposals championed by progressives have been scaled back.
Senate changes to the House bill, aimed at appeasing moderates and conforming to parliamentary rules, included dropping a proposed minimum wage increase, but it is unlikely that they are sufficient for progressive democrats to vote against.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi cannot afford four Democrats to oppose a bill to pass, if all members vote and Republicans are lined up in opposition, given the small majority of his party. Two Democrats joined a united GOP in voting against the initial version of the Stimulus.
Pelosi predicted on March 7 that the bill would pass.
“In two days, the House will have a resounding, hopefully bipartisan, vote for justice,” Pelosi said in a letter to his caucus on March 7. “We can then send it to the President and move quickly to distribute his Rescue Resources.”
Other high-ranking lawmakers agreed.
“I don’t think there is a problem. Which Democrat is going to vote against a bill that cuts poverty by a third, extends child tax credits and SNAP, gives $ 1,400 to 80% of their voters? Said Budget Chairman John Yarmuth, chief architect of the US bailout bill. SNAP refers to a federal food aid program.
As Biden now heads for his first legislative victory less than two months after proposing his relief bill, economists have factored its effects into their forecasts for a stronger recovery in 2021.
Economists at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. see the unemployment rate drop to 4.1% by the end of the year, from 6.2% in February. They see employment increasing by more than 6 million for 2021, which is a big part of the 9.4 million drop in payrolls last year.
“Growth will be meteoric in the coming year,” wrote Moody’s Analytics chief economist Mark Zandi on March 7, citing additional fiscal stimulus, the end of the pandemic and outgoing consumers. lock.
The oversized stimulus has propelled bond yields soaring, with 10-year rates hitting their highest levels for more than a year last week.
The deadline is approaching
Democratic aides have said the looming March 14 expiration of improved unemployment benefits strongly deters all rank-and-file members from trying to force a renegotiation with the Senate. This could risk missing the deadline, with the lapse of assistance.
Progressives who had expressed concern about any Senate changes so far are holding back, with the Congressional Progressive Caucus issuing a statement calling the upper house changes “minor.”
The Sunrise movement, a group dedicated to fighting climate change, criticized the exclusion of the minimum wage hike – a priority for progressives – while saying the package could eventually become comparable to the New Deal programs being conducted by former President Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
“The adoption of this recovery plan is historic. This is a big change from 2009 and shows that Biden has the potential to be president of the FDR, ”said Ellen Sciales, spokesperson for the group. “However, it’s embarrassing that Democrats who fully control Congress and the White House couldn’t pass a $ 15 minimum wage they promised.”
The Senate reduced weekly extra unemployment benefits to $ 300 per week through September 6, from $ 400 through August in the House bill. The new version now also allows people earning up to $ 150,000 to receive $ 10,200 in tax-free benefits.
While the ceiling for resetting stimulus checks has been lowered to $ 80,000 from $ 100,000 by the Senate, the bill has now exempted student loan relief from tax. A progressive attempt to add a progressive minimum wage of $ 15 to the package failed when eight Democratic caucus senators voted on March 5 against the budget rule override to allow it in the bill.
The marathon negotiations on the night of March 5 highlighted the delicate balance of power in the Senate and the influence of moderates. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer challenged Joe Manchin (DW.Va.) decision to back a GOP proposal to phase out improved unemployment benefits by mid-July.
Schumer arguing that such a change could cause problems in the House, Manchin ultimately compromised and backed the deal to keep aid going until September.
While most House Democrats applauded the progressive elements of the bill, even with the changes in the Senate, there is still a risk of defection. A spokeswoman for Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (DN.J.) said she still has not decided whether or not to support the bill.
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“I didn’t think that when we were going to fight for the workers, we would fight with our own party,” Watson Coleman said in a statement.
Progressive Democrats are already focusing their attention on securing their proposals in a second budget reconciliation bill – which allows Senate approval by a simple majority, rather than the usual 60 votes to cut off debate. Congress is expected to pass the next reconciliation bill before the August recess.
The White House is already engaged in developing a “Build Back Better” program that should include both infrastructure investments and progressive priorities such as funding child and elderly care.
“There is still work to be done, but this is a crucial down payment on the $ 3 [trillion] to $ 4.5 trillion in stimulus needed to fully recover, ”tweeted Progressive Congressional Caucus Chair Pramila Jayapal after the Senate passed the bill.
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