Biden wins a key vote over $1.9trillion recovery package

Photo: AP Joe Biden

The US president Joe Biden won narrowly a crucial vote in Congress to pass his $1.9 trillion programme targeted to offset the human and economic influence of pandemic, Reuters reported.

The new president’s vision for flushing cash to individuals, businesses, states and cities battered by Covid-19 passed on a near party-line 219-212 vote early on Saturday. That ships the massive measure to the Senate. Republicans said the bill was too expensive and said too few education dollars would be spent quickly to immediately reopen schools. They said it was burdened with gifts to Democratic constituencies like labor unions and funneled money to Democratic-run states they suggested didn’t need it because their budgets had bounced back.

The House Covid-19 bill includes the minimum wage increase, so the real battle over its fate will occur when the Senate debates its version over the next two weeks. Republicans oppose the $15 minimum wage target as an expense that would hurt businesses and cost jobs. The overall relief bill would provide $1,400 payments to individual Americans, extend emergency unemployment benefits through August and increase tax credits for children and federal subsidies for health insurance. It also provides billions for schools and colleges, state and local governments, Covid-19 vaccines and testing, renters, food producers and struggling industries like airlines, restaurants, bars and concert venues.

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