WASHINGTON – The House Budget Committee approved the $ 1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package on Monday, hosting a mid-chamber vote later this week.
The budget committee formally merged on Monday different parts of the legislation that had been brought forward earlier this month in nine different House committees. A plenary vote is expected Friday or Saturday.
The bill before the House would provide unemployment benefits of $ 400 per week until August 29, send payments of $ 1,400 per person to most households, provide billions of dollars in funding for schools and vaccine distribution, expand the child tax credit, expand child care. aid and strengthening of tax credits for health insurance. It would also raise the federal minimum wage to $ 15 an hour over four years, a dividing point among Democrats.
“We are in a race against time. Aggressive and bold action is needed before our country is no longer deeply and permanently scarred by the human and economic costs of inaction, ”House Budget Committee Chairman John Yarmuth (D., Ky. ), Before the vote. “We will pass this legislation and we will reverse this pandemic and this economic crisis.”
Over the past month, new cases of Covid-19 have declined as vaccines are distributed to more Americans, and economists have improved their outlook for the year. But officials, including Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, said the $ 1.9 trillion package was needed to emerge from the pandemic-induced economic crisis.