Democrats on Capitol Hill are quickly pushing through a $1.9 trillion COVID relief bill without much standing in their way other than members of their own party. Democratic leaders in the U.S. House of Representatives intend to pass the legislation championed by President Biden no later than February 28, at which point the Senate will begin consideration of the bill. Democrats are using the same process, known as budget reconciliation, as did Republicans in 2017 when they passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and as Democrats did before them in 2010 to help the Affordable Care Act become law. The reconciliation process is used when one party lacks the 60 Senate votes needed to move a bill on the floor. In the case of reconciliation, Senate rules allow for only a simple majority of 51 votes to pass a bill instead of 60. The current House bill includes, $1,400 stimulus checks; extension of temporary $400 unemployment benefits through August 29, 2021; extension of FFCRA paid sick time and paid family leave credits through September 30, 2021; and expansion of paid leave credits for COVID vaccination. Senate Democrats hope to send a final bill to President Biden prior to the expiration of unemployment insurance benefits on March 14.
Democrats Moving COVID Bill
Omar S. Nashashibi is a Washington, D.C.-based lobbyist and strategic consultant. He uses his experience to help clients navigate the challenges and risks of public-policy actions and how they impact a business or industry.