House to Approve Biden’s $1.9 Trillion Covid Stimulus by End of February
Date: 2021-02-16 18:06:59
With Donald Trump’s impeachment trial behind them, Democrats are quickly pivoting back to President Joe Biden’s priorities, particularly his $1.9 trillion stimulus plan and confirming the rest of his cabinet.
Lawmakers face a short turnaround to approve another round of stimulus payments, jobless compensation and funding for schools and vaccines before key benefits from the last round of pandemic aid expire on March 14. In less than four weeks, Democrats must pass a bill out of the House and get all 50 Senate Democrats to back the legislation.
That will likely require amending some provisions, such as the $15 federal minimum wage requirement, that at least two Democratic Senators — Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona and Joe Manchin of West Virginia — say they won’t support. Any changes made in the Senate would mean that the bill would have to go back to the House for another vote.
The eagerness of congressional Democrats to move past Trump was evident from start to end of the shortest Senate impeachment trial in history. The agreement on the trial format between Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and GOP leader Mitch McConnell kept the proceedings compressed, and the four days of arguments ended ahead of schedule.
After Senators voted on Saturday to allow witnesses to testify — a surprise result that risked delaying the trial’s conclusion by several weeks — House impeachment managers and the former president’s defense team agreed to enter a public statement into the record. That let the chamber move on to a verdict that day, acquitting Trump.
Although Democrats expressed disappointment in the outcome, they said they are ready to put the former president behind them and focus on Biden’s priorities.
“We in Congress need to move forward with delivering the expanded unemployment checks, the stimulus checks, the reinvestment in our economy that the American people so desperately need and deserve,” Senator Chris Coons, a Delaware Democrat who is close to Biden, said Sunday on ABC’s “This Week” program.
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