House expected to vote Wednesday on COVID-19 package


The House is now expected to take a final vote on Wednesday morning to clear the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package.

Lawmakers had initially been expected to vote on Tuesday to send the legislation to President Biden for his signature. But the House just received bill processing papers from the Senate on Tuesday morning, which slightly delayed the initially anticipated timeline.

The House will take a procedural vote later Tuesday on the legislation with a final passage vote on Wednesday morning, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer's (D-Md.) office said.

The massive package, which runs hundreds of pages, includes a third round of stimulus checks, an extension of the weekly $300 unemployment insurance boost and billions in funding for vaccine distribution and COVID-19 testing efforts.

The House passed its original version of the bill earlier this month, which included provisions to raise the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour, increase the weekly unemployment insurance supplemental payments to $400 and maintain the income eligibility limits for stimulus checks at the levels of previous rounds of pandemic relief, for individuals making up to $100,000.

But the Senate amended the bill before passing it on Saturday with changes demanded by centrists keeping the unemployment insurance payments at $300, ensuring that the first $10,200 of unemployment insurance benefits aren't subject to taxes and reducing the maximum income eligibility for stimulus checks to $80,000.

Individuals with incomes of $75,000 or less will still be eligible for the full $1,400 checks, but the partial checks will phase out faster than the previous rounds.

The Senate parliamentarian also ruled that the minimum wage provision didn't comply with the budget reconciliation process that Democrats are using to circumvent a GOP filibuster.

Democrats are moving quickly to enact the COVID-19 relief package into law before current unemployment insurance benefits expire on March 14.

Biden has said he will sign the legislation into law "as soon as I can get it."

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