Currents News Staff
The final passage of President Biden’s 1.9 trillion dollar stimulus plan is underway.
“And one more thing: this plan is historic,” the president said.
President Joe Biden is on the verge of clinching a transformative victory as he prepares to deliver his very first prime-time address this week.
The Senate is completing its marathon consideration of Biden’s sweeping $1.9 trillion COVID relief proposal March 13, with the House scheduled to follow suit later this week.
And Biden, while highlighting vaccinations for veterans, is making clear he’s unequivocally ready to sign.
“As soon as I get it,”he said, even as his administration continues to work behind the scenes to ensure the pathway is clear.
“Obviously our focus continues to be The Americans Rescue Plan and getting it across the finish line,” said White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki. “The president is taking nothing for granted.”
The GOP opposition is unyielding, with not a single House or Senate Republican voting for the plan.
“This isn’t a pandemic rescue package,” said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. “It’s a parade of left wing pet projects they are ramming through, they are ramming through during a pandemic.”
But the House vote will complete Biden’s top task from the moment he set foot in the Oval Office: passing a sweeping bill to address the dual economic and public health crises confronted by his administration.
The scale of the bill — and it’s focus on those at or below the poverty level — are almost without precedent. The stimulus checks would provide $5,600 for a typical family of four making less than $100,000; extensions of emergency unemployment benefits for roughly 11 million Americans; an unprecedented expansion of the child tax credit, which would reach 66 million and is estimated to cut child poverty in half; an expansion of the earned income tax credit for 17 million; tens of billions of dollars for rental and homeowner assistance; and the bill would quietly bolster the Affordable Care Act to reduce premiums for millions.
Top Biden advisers, in an internal staff memo obtained by Currents News, are calling the package “a historic response to the moment of crisis we face.”
“We can’t lose sight of what the bill actually means for the American people,” said Psaki.
Still, warning signs for Biden’s future plans exist in the form of Democratic senator Joe Manchin, who is demanding bipartisanship on issues like infrastructure and immigration.
“I’m not willing to go into reconciliation until we at least get bipartisanship or get working together, or allow the Senate to do its job,” said Manchin. “Just by assuming that they’ll never work with us, that’s the other side. This is tribal. Republicans will never agree on anything, or Democrats will never agree. I don’t subscribe to that.”
For now, Biden is firmly in Manchin’s camp in maintaining the rules of the Senate in the search for bipartisanship.
“The president’s preference is to not get rid of the filibuster,” Psaki. said. “Look at what we’ve accomplished the past six weeks.”
This comes all as Biden is making clear that whatever lies ahead for his agenda, his cornerstone legislative proposal is a big deal.
“By passing this plan, we will have delivered real, tangible results for the Americans people and their families, and they’ll be able to see and know and feel the change in their own lives,” the president said.