Biden's $1.9 trillion Covid package expected to pass Congress Wednesday

WION Web Team
Washington, DC, United States of AmericaUpdated: Mar 10, 2021, 08:15 AM IST


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The House Tuesday voted to advance and cleared the way clearing the way for the measure to be considered the next day.

US President Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill is expected to be passed by the House of Representatives on Wednesday.

The House Tuesday voted to advance and cleared the way clearing the way for the measure to be considered the next day. The House will consider the legislation starting at 9 a.m. (1400 GMT) on Wednesday, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer told reporters. The bill was sent over to the House on Tuesday morning from the Senate, where Democrats have effective control. 

Preliminary debate began on Tuesday afternoon.

The House voted 219-210 along party lines to advance the measure to a final debate and vote. No Republicans voted yes, and just one Democrat voted no. The bill's expected approval on Wednesday will enable the Democratic president to sign the legislation into law later this week.

Passage of the massive package, one of the biggest US anti-poverty measures since the 1960s, would give Biden and the Democrats who control Congress a major legislative victory less than two months into his presidency.

During the debate, multiple Republican members repeatedly asked unanimous consent to call up another measure, the Reopen Schools Act, but were ruled out of order.

The Senate passed its version of the bill on Saturday after a marathon overnight session. The chamber eliminated or pared back some provisions in an original House bill, including an increase in the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour.

The changes the Senate made must be approved by the House before it can make its way to Biden's desk.

Republicans, who broadly supported economic relief early in the coronavirus pandemic, have criticized the price tag of the relief package. It now appears likely to go to Biden without a single Republican voting for it in either the House or Senate.

Democrats hold a very narrow majority in the House, meaning that without any Republican support, they can afford to lose only a handful of votes by their own members against the bill. They lost two moderate Democrats the first time the bill went through the House, but one of those, Representative Kurt Schrader, said he changed his mind and backed the Senate-passed version.

(with inputs)