House Passes COVID Relief Package Without A Single Republican Vote
The House of Representatives voted 219-212 this morning to pass the Democrats' $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package — which would include the $1,400 checks to those who made under $75,000 in 2019, increase the child tax credit, provide economic support to schools as well as state and local governments and fund vaccine distribution. The package also includes the provision to raise the minimum wage, despite the fact that the Senate Parliamentarian ruled on Thursday that the minimum wage increase could not go into the relief package.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi explained the reasoning for this in a statement after the ruling:
The ruling from the Senate parliamentarian is disappointing, because raising the minimum wage would give 27 million Americans a well-deserved raise and pull nearly one million Americans out of poverty in the middle of a once-in-a-century devastating pandemic and economic crisis.
House Democrats believe that the minimum wage hike is necessary. Therefore, this provision will remain in the American Rescue Plan on the Floor tomorrow. Democrats in the House are determined to pursue every possible path in the Fight For 15.
Good! It is very important for the American people to see who is fighting for these things and who isn't. Republicans think the 42 percent of Americans making under $15 an hour are not working hard enough to deserve to survive, to deserve food and shelter and health care, and it is necessary to make that as clear as day. After all ... there are still a few things that can be done in the Senate to pass it. It's not over til it's over.
Biden on Saturday will deliver remarks praising the House for passing the bill as an important first step and double down on the importance of now passing it out of the Senate, according to a White House official.[...]
It had been expected to pass on a party-line vote as House Republicans urged their members to vote against the package and worked to limit defections.Republicans have argued that the legislation overreaches and serves as a liberal wish list of agenda items and complain that they have been locked out of the process for crafting the measure. Democrats counter that they are willing to work with Republicans, but will not water down the plan and say they have a mandate to take sweeping action to address the pandemic now that they control Congress and the White House.
The two Democrats who voted against the bill were Kurt Schrader of Oregon and Jared Golden of Maine — two of the 18 remaining members of the Blue Dog Coalition. Golden said in a statement that "[a]fter supporting $4 trillion in emergency COVID relief in 2020, I won't support trillions more in funding that is poorly targeted or in many cases not necessary at this moment in time." Of course, those who need these things likely consider them to be very necessary.
Schrader has not yet released a statement but the first thing you see about him in a Google search is that he is very concerned with the national debt, so that tracks. Also, if you click on his Wikipedia page you can see he's not a big fan of increasing the minimum wage. If you click on the district he represents, you will see that said district has not had a Republican representative since 1997 and has voted Democratic in the last three elections.
And that's just some factual information that people may find interesting or useful. Also, everyone who has represented the district since it was created in 1980 has gotten divorced. See! Just tossing out facts here with absolutely no other agenda that anyone could possibly yell at me about.
Although economists have said that it would likely cost about $4.5 trillion for our economy to fully recover from the pandemic, getting almost half of that is a good first step. Hopefully this won't be the last and, hopefully, we'll get the minimum wage increased soon, however we end up doing it.
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Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse