Democrats move to save minimum wage increase

If Democrats can’t find a way to include the pay increase in the stimulus measure, the bill could lose the support of progressives, although Pelosi said the House would “absolutely” pass the measure without the pay increase if necessary. .

“I don’t think we can go back to the voters and say, ‘Look, I know Republicans, Democrats and independents support this; We promised, but due to an unelected parliamentarian who gave us a ruling, we couldn’t do it, ”Rep. Pramila Jayapal, a Washington Democrat and chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, told reporters. “There are a lot of good things in the package, but if it gets diluted, it’s a completely different problem. So we just have to see how it ends. “

Democrats have accepted the blanket stimulus package as critical for the economy. It would provide direct payments of $ 1,400 to individuals earning up to $ 75,000 a year and couples earning up to $ 150,000, and it would expand a weekly federal unemployment benefit, increasing it from $ 300 to $ 400 per week and extending it through the end of August. It would also increase the value of the child tax credit; provide more than $ 50 billion for vaccine distribution, testing and tracking; and allocate nearly $ 200 billion to elementary and secondary schools and $ 350 billion to state, local, and tribal governments.

The legislation, once approved by the House, will go 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 Biden’s signature.

House Republicans were expected to oppose the legislation with few exceptions. They have argued that the plan is too expensive and contains provisions that are not related to pandemic relief. And while his party members used the reconciliation process twice in 2017 to avoid Democratic opposition to their highest priorities, once to push for a $ 1.5 trillion tax cut and once in a failed attempt to repeal the Act Affordable Care, complained that Democrats had removed them from the language of the stimulus measure.

“This is not an aid bill,” said Rep. Kevin McCarthy of California, the Republican leader, in his weekly press conference. “It takes care of the political allies of the Democrats, while it doesn’t work for American families.”

Like several Republicans on Capitol Hill, he wore a “No Pelosi Payout” sticker.

“We already know what the best stimulus plan out there is: fully reopening our economy,” McCarthy said.

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