A quartet of House committees are expected to delve into the details of President Biden’s stimulus package on Wednesday, as Democrats rush to send the $ 1.9 trillion plan to Mr. Biden’s office before unemployment benefits do start to expire in mid-March.
After a marathon session that started Tuesday and lasted over 12 hours, the House Education and Labor Committee finalized its part of the economic aid package, providing billions of dollars for schools, grants health care and food aid programs. The package also includes a gradual increase in the federal minimum wage to $ 15.
Republicans spent the hearing pushing for amendments that would lower a minimum wage hike and impose demands for schools to reopen. The amendments were brought down in a series of votes along party lines in the wee hours of the morning.
Democrats are poised to push forward the stimulus bill as a reconciliation bill, which only requires a simple majority to pass and could therefore be passed, if necessary, without the support of Republicans. It remains unclear whether the provision that would raise the minimum wage to $ 15 by 2025 can prevail thanks to the rules of the reconciliation process, which imposes strict parameters to prevent the process from being abused.
House leaders hope to finalize the entire package, which will include bills from nine separate committees, this week. Their Senate counterparts, who will have to maneuver a much more complex parliamentary process to approve the legislation, remain involved in the second impeachment trial of former President Donald J. Trump.