US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Monday that the House of Representatives will discuss by Wednesday the Senate version of the comprehensive $ 1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package backed by President Joe Biden.
With final approval of one of the largest US anti-poverty measures since the 1960s nearing, Democrats aim to enact the massive legislation by Sunday, when enhanced federal unemployment benefits expire.
The Senate passed its version of the bill after a lengthy vote Saturday night.
The Senate transcript abolished or reinstated some of the provisions included in the House bill, which raised the federal minimum wage to $ 15 an hour and extended extended unemployment assistance until August 29.
Now that it’s passed in the Senate, it must be approved by the House of Representatives again before it makes its way into Biden’s office and gets signed into law.
Pelosi told reporters at the Capitol that the timing of the vote in the House of Representatives “depends on when we get the paper from the Senate.”
“We were eating it on Wednesday morning at the latest,” she said.
Like the Senate, the Democrats have a very narrow majority in the House, which means they cannot withstand the many votes against the bill.
The first version of the bill was approved in the House of Representatives without a single Republican vote. Two moderate Democrats joined the Republicans in voting against this version.
One of them, Representative Kurt Schrader from Oregon, said on Monday that he would now vote on the bill with the Senate changes.
“My concerns remain about the size and scope of this bill, but I believe the changes made by the Senate provide meaningful relief to Oregonians in need,” Schrader wrote on Facebook.
“Funding our local governments, small businesses, schools, families, health care providers and extending unemployment benefits will be a lifeline for many,” he said of the legislation.
Republicans, who have widely supported coronavirus relief early in the pandemic, have criticized the price for Biden’s relief package.
On Friday, while the Senate vote was still under way, Democratic Representative in the House of Representatives Bonnie Watson Coleman said she was “disgusted” by some of the changes to the Senate bill and asked if she could support it.
A spokesperson for her office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
But Rep. Pramila Jayapal, chair of the Progressive Caucus in Congress, told reporters that she believed the group’s members would support the legislation, which she described as “exceptional” and in line with most of its members’ priorities.
White House spokeswoman Jane Psaki praised the legislation at a news conference, saying that although there were some changes to the sidelines, it was the “essence” of what Biden originally proposed.