What’s In, What’s Out Of Relief Bill? Key Measures Face Senate Ruling
As the House prepares to vote tomorrow on the stimulus legislation, the package will be shaped by the Senate parliamentarian's rulings that could trim its minimum wage hike and other major provisions.
GOP Rallies Solidly Against Democrats' Virus Relief Package
Republicans rallied solidly against Democrats’ proposed $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill as lawmakers awaited a decision by the Senate’s parliamentarian that could bolster or potentially kill a pivotal provision hiking the federal minimum wage. Despite their paper-thin congressional majorities, Democratic leaders were poised to push the sweeping package through the House on Friday. They were hoping the Senate, where changes seem likely, would follow quickly enough to have legislation on President Joe Biden’s desk by mid-March. (Fram, 2/25)
Democrats' $1.9T Covid Aid Bill Faces The Senate Chopping Block
Hiking the minimum wage to $15 an hour is on the docket, in addition to pension issues and subsidies meant to help laid-off workers remain on their health insurance plans. Democrats are hopeful for favorable rulings — and some are determined to retool their proposals if they fall short, eager to get the biggest possible bill under budget rules that allow it to evade a Senate filibuster. But time to sort through potential pitfalls is running short, with House Democrats aiming to pass the package by the end of the week and congressional leaders hoping to send it to Biden’s desk before unemployment benefits expire in mid-March. (Emma and Levine, 2/24)
Senate Parliamentarian Hears Arguments On Coronavirus Relief Bill
Democratic and Republican aides completed arguments before the Senate rules referee this morning over whether a minimum wage boost and other matters can be included in the emerging $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package under budget reconciliation procedures. Senate Finance Committee staff met with the chamber's parliamentarian, Elizabeth MacDonough, on Tuesday night, according to sources familiar with the discussions. (Krawzak, 2/24)
Schumer Calls Biden's Stimulus Bill 'Overwhelmingly Popular,' McConnell Says Plan Works 'Backwards'
Senate party leaders disagreed over the effectiveness of President Joe Biden's American Rescue Plan in their opening remarks on the Senate floor on Wednesday. While Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer called the $1.9 trillion stimulus bill "overwhelmingly popular" among Americans, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell accused congressional Democrats of "working backwards" on the coronavirus relief package. (Fung, 2/25)
'The Need Is Real': GOP Mayors Embrace Biden's COVID-19 Relief Plan Even As Republican Lawmakers Pan It
As Biden's relief package heads for a vote Friday in the Democrat-controlled House – where it is expected to pass with perhaps no Republican support – cash-strained city halls are some of the legislation's biggest boosters. That includes Republican mayors seeking federal assistance to replenish tax revenue shortages. (Garrison, 2/25)
In other financial news —
BLM Launches Survival Fund Amid Federal COVID-19 Relief Wait
The Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation is formally expanding a $3 million financial relief fund that it quietly launched earlier this month, to help people struggling to make ends meet during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The foundation, which grew out of the creation of the Black Lives Matter movement nearly eight years ago, said Thursday that it plans to make up to 3,000 microgrants of $1,000 each to people who it believes need it most. The BLM foundation has already begun asking recipients to apply for the Survival Fund grants as it builds out its philanthropic arm. (Morrison, 2/25)