President Biden on Friday hosted House Democratic leaders on the White House to discuss COVID-19 stimulus laws being rammed by means of Congress underneath a finances reconciliation course of with no deal with Republicans.
The gathering adopted a “vote-a-rama” Thursday within the Senate that cleared manner for laws modeled after Biden’s $1.9 trillion aid plan.
“I admire you all coming over as a result of … and the urgency with which you might be transferring,” Biden mentioned as he hosted House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and House committee leaders.
“It’s about folks lives … They’re actually hurting. Simply have a look at all of the variety of people who find themselves needing and in search of psychological well being assist … Suicide’s up,” Biden mentioned.
“We are able to’t do an excessive amount of right here, however we are able to do too little.”
House and Senate committees are drafting the laws, which nonetheless should move the chambers by majority votes earlier than reaching Biden’s desk. The finances reconciliation course of permits the Senate to keep away from the standard 60-vote tremendous majority for payments.
Pelosi mentioned in a Friday letter to colleagues that the House hopes to “end our work earlier than the top of February.”
The Senate modification votes on Thursday present directions to committees writing the invoice however introduce new uncertainty to the laws.
The Senate averted a showdown on one contentious proposal on elevating the nationwide minimal wage to $15 per hour, which now is probably not included within the ultimate bundle.
The bundle is predicted to present $1,400 stimulus checks to most Individuals. The Senate voted to revise eligibility to exclude 1.4 million US residents and everlasting residents who’re married to unlawful immigrants and file taxes collectively.
Republicans largely object to the Democratic aid plan, saying aid must be extra focused and that the main target must be on ending the pandemic with vaccines and returning folks to work.
A bunch of 10 Republican senators met with Biden on Monday to suggest a smaller aid bundle, however no consensus was reached and Democratic leaders on Capitol Hill moved ahead with the reconciliation course of with Biden’s assist.
The White House argues that the invoice can nonetheless be thought-about bipartisan due to public assist from some Republican voters.