On Wednesday, the United States House of Representatives finally approved one of the largest economic stimulus measures in the country’s history, a comprehensive coronavirus relief bill. The approval from House gives President Joe Biden the first major victory in office. Moreover, the bill provides $400 billion for $1400 direct payments to most nationals, $350 billion in aid to local and state governments, increased funding for vaccine distribution, and an expansion of the child tax credit.
Big news: Congress just passed President Biden’s American Rescue Plan – a historic legislative package that will turn the page on this pandemic, deliver direct relief to Americans, and jumpstart our economy.
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) March 10, 2021
Analysts expect it to boost the country’s economic recovery. After the approval, a vote. Biden twitted that, “Help is Here.” According to the White House, the President plans to sign the bill on Friday. Jan Schakowsky, the Democratic Representative, says that this is a historic day. It is the start of the end of the deadly COVID-19 depression.
However, Republicans express that the latest measure of the Biden administration was too costly. The government’s bill includes wasteful progressive priorities. The opposition said the worst phase of the pandemic, the largest public health crisis in a century, mainly passed, and the economy of the country headed toward a rebound. Jason Smith, the Republican Representative, expresses that it is the wrong plan at the wrong time for several wrong reasons.
Republicans opposed the Biden’s Relief Plan
Congress approved the bill with 220-211 votes in the Democratic-controlled House. Republican representatives gave no support to the bill after weeks of partisan debate and dispute in the House. Whereas the Democratic Party described the latest legislation as the most crucial response to an outbreak that killed over 528,000 people and thrown millions out of work in the United States.
Republican Senator Roger Wicker tweets that this funding will ensure the survival of small businesses during the pandemic by normalizing their operations and keeping their workers on the payroll. On the other hand, Democrats were keen to deliver the final bill to the president’s desk for his signature before the expiry of current federal unemployment benefits on Sunday.
Popular Support to the Bill
Previously, several republicans supported the COVID-19 relief package under former President Donald Trump’s administration, but no Republican representative voted for the bill in the Senate or House. However, the recent bill is popular with the public. An Ipsos/Reuters national opinion poll, conducted on 8th and 9th March, showed that seventy percent of Americans support the plan, including the majority of Republicans and Democrats. Among Democrats lawmakers, nine out of ten say they support the plan, while five out of ten Republicans vote in support of it.
The latest legislation could have high stakes for both U.S. major parties. Suppose it succeeds in giving a major boost to the economy. In that case, the plan could improve the political fortunes of Democrats as they tried to hold their slim majorities in Congress in the midterm elections of 2022. Jared Golden, the only House Democrat of Mine, voted against the bill, saying its high borrowing costs endangered the recovery.
The Senate passed a version in a marathon weekend session that removed federal minimum wage $15-per-hour increase by 2025; eventually tightened the eligibility for about fourteen hundred dollars direct payments, topping them at those earning below eight-thousand dollars, cut the unemployment insurance payment to about three hundred dollars a week from the House’s $400 and targeted some of the local and state government aid to smaller communities.
According to estimates from former and present committees, States that voted for the Trump administration in the November election are due to receive a handsome amount of child-care and education aid per national than those that supported Biden. Likewise, the people living in Republican-leaning states, which tend to have lower household incomes, also are likely to receive larger stimulus payments and tax breaks as well, according to an independent research group.
Biden Administration’s push will increase vaccinations and slow the infection rate
The massive package of Biden took as a major driver, coupled with slowing infection rate and a quickening pace of coronavirus vaccinations, in a brightening stance for the economy. This week, Morgan Stanley, an investment banking company, pegged 2021 economic output growth at around 8.1 percent. Furthermore, on Tuesday, the organization foreseen United States growth would top six percent this year, more from an approximation of about three percent three months ago.
With the competition of the coronavirus aid bill, attention diverted towards the president’s next round of major legislation, including climate change initiatives, immigration reforms, and massive infrastructure investments. Whereas conservative leaders bridled at the $1.9 trillion costs of the coronavirus bill, it may be possible to receive Republican representatives’ buy-in on climate change and immigration legislation in the Senate, according to Paul Sracic, a political science professor at Youngstown State University.
However, getting enough support for Democratic moves from Republicans to push them to passage will be a challenge, and anything that gets sixty votes in the Senate is possibly a problem with progressive Democrats in the House, Sracic added.