Congressional Committees Working on Details of Stimulus Package
February 5, the House voted to pass the Senate-approved 2021 budget resolution (S.Con.Res. 5). This set up a tool to bypass the Senate filibuster and any Republican objections on President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID-19 stimulus proposal.
Congressional Committees with jurisdiction in the House and Senate will now work to hammer out the legislative details and amendments to the package, which they must complete by February 16. The legislation will then go to the House and Senate budget committees, who will assemble the final bill and tee up a vote in the House, likely the week of February 22. The Senate will then vote, and a conference committee may need to resolve any differences between the House and Senate-passed bills until an identical bill passes both chambers.
Democrats are expected to push for many provisions identified as part of the $1.9 trillion stimulus proposal, such as:
- Direct payments of up to $1,400
- Authorization of an OSHA COVID-19 Standard that would extend to workers not typically covered by OSHA.
- $400/week in supplemental unemployment benefits through September
- $350 billion for state and local governments
- Raising the minimum wage to $15/hour
- $130 billion to help schools reopen
- $160 billion in funding for a national program of vaccination, testing, and other coronavirus containment efforts
While some attempts were made to work on a bipartisan proposal for the next pandemic relief bill, Democrats and Republicans could not compromise on the overall cost and in several key policy issues areas. Democrats are anticipated to advance their proposal without meaningful Republican support in Congress.
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