WASHINGTON, DC — The U.S. House has approved a $1.9 trillion pandemic relief bill in a win for President Joe Biden as a major step toward enacting the first legislative priority of his administration in response to the devastating fallout from the spread of Covid-19.
The relief bill would provide $1,400 payments to individuals, extend emergency unemployment benefits through August and increase tax credits for children and federal subsidies for health insurance.
But even as Democrats savor that major step, party leaders are trying to assure progressives that they’ll revive their derailed drive to boost the minimum wage.
The bill, which passed early Saturday on a near party-line vote of 219-212, flushes cash to individuals, businesses and states battered by Covid-19.
Now it goes to the U.S. Senate. Democrats there seem bent on resuscitating their minimum wage push, and other fights could erupt, too.
Democrats say the still-faltering economy and rampaging virus demands action, but Republicans call the legislation bloated and partisan.