Democrats on Capitol Hill are determined to push the president’s first major piece of legislation through Congress.
The American Rescue Plan is the $1.9 trillion pandemic relief measure.
Democrats in the House got the votes to get it done in the lower chamber.
Now it’s up to the Senate where the 50-50 party line split will be a delicate play.
Democrats plan to use the reconciliation process to avoid a filibuster that would require 60 votes.
That will require every Democrat to stay on board.
Democrats lost one battle this week when the Senate parliamentarian ruled their attempt to raise the federal minimum wage cannot be included in the bill.
The party hopes to clear the Senate by mid-March before some unemployment benefits expire.
Here are some specific details of the Democrats’ proposal:
- A new round of $1,400 stimulus checks for Americans that gets phased out for taxpayers with higher incomes.
- Extending weekly federal unemployment benefits and increasing them to $400.
- Almost $9 billion for COVID-19 vaccines and testing.
- Increasing the child tax credit to $3,000.
- $130 billion for public schools to make pandemic safety changes.
- $350-billion dollars for state and local governments.
President Joe Biden’s made it his immediate priority to pass another coronavirus relief package.
The almost $2 trillion proposal is not likely to get much support from Republicans, if any.
We talked about that and more this week on 4 The Record with U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley.
Pandemic relief proposal
Republican leaders countered with a measure that’s less than a third of what the president wants.
President Biden has preached unity after taking office and points to the polls as an example there is bipartisan support among everyday Americans for his plan.
Grassley addressed why Republicans won’t go along with the majority of Americans.
State and local help
President Biden’s relief proposal includes help for state and local governments.
Republicans kept it out of the measure that passed last year and don’t want it in the president’s plan.
There are plenty of Republican mayors who say they need help.
Grassley discussed the reason Republicans in Congress don’t think state and local governments should get help.
Watch the full conversation in the video above.
Local 4 News, your local election headquarters, is proud to present 4 The Record, a weekly news and public affairs program focused on the issues important to you. It’s a program unlike any other here in the Quad Cities. Tune in each Sunday at 10:30 a.m. as Jim Niedelman brings you up to speed on what’s happening in the political arena, from Springfield, Des Moines, Washington, D.C. and right here at home.