GOP Rep. Jason Smith: Deferments Show Relief Not Needed Now

  • GOP Rep. Jason Smith: Deferments Show Relief Not Needed Now

GOP Rep. Jason Smith: Deferments Show Relief Not Needed Now

Robert Menendez (D-NJ) walk to a news conference on February 9, 2021. Some Democratic Senators have signaled they're not comfortable with the bill.

"We will meet that deadline", Majority Leader Schumer told Senate colleagues.

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"The Senate is on track to send a robust $1.9 trillion package to the president's desk before the March 14 expiration of Unemployment Insurance benefits", Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said in a Friday letter to colleagues.

It's the latest sign that Democrats are racing to enact the package within a matter of weeks, though their timeline has slim room for error. The plan would offer direct payments to households, extended federal unemployment benefits, aid to state and local governments, and other steps.

Details of the plan released this Friday by Democrats in the lower house also include a new weekly $ 400 extension to federal unemployment benefits through August 29.

In the meantime, the House Budget Committee is expected to vote on the bill Monday and bring it to the full House later in the week.

In this first glimpse of Biden's presidential salesmanship, he has not been shy about calling out Republicans who are wary of supporting his American Rescue Plan, despite its popularity - urging them to offer their ideas for potential compromise.

"Next week, the House is expected to consider the almost $2 trillion package of progressive priorities Democrats have rushed to bring to the floor", minority whip Steven Scalise, R-La., wrote. Much of the delayed spending comes in the category of education.

"Any further action needs to be focused on destroying this virus and rebuilding our economy in a targeted and efficient way", Rep. Kevin Brady of Texas, ranking Republican on the House Ways and Means Committee, said last week during a markup hearing.

Included in the House bill is a controversial proposal to gradually raise the federal minimum wage, now set at $7.25 an hour, to $15 by 2025.

The new President's desire to create more consensus in Washington will clearly be on his mind as he tries to steer his $1.9 trillion stimulus package through the US House this week and prepares for the legislation's more hard path through the US Senate.

The provision faces multiple difficulties: Republicans oppose it and at least two moderate Senate Democrats have warned they, too, would vote against it, which would sink the wage increase in a Senate split 50-50.