ECONOMIC relief could be just days away as the Senate will start debating “robust” Covid legislation next week.
The US Senate next week will begin debating a coronavirus aid bill and proceed even if Republicans are not on board, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said Thursday.
Democrat Schumer told representatives in a Senate speech there was the need for a “bold” and “robust” bill in light of current economic conditions.
He said slimming down package "would be irresponsible and hurt millions of people", reported POLITICO.
Schumer also referred to “passing a budget resolution”, which unlocks reconciliation and allows Democrats to go around Republicans to get the bill passed, if that is required.
The message of hope from Schumer comes after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi yesterday confirmed new stimulus checks will be rolled out speedily to meet the “urgent” need for relief.
Pelosi indicated extra pressure is being placed on members to get the relief package approved so the new $1,400 stimulus checks can be distributed to the millions struggling from the economic damage of the coronavirus pandemic.
In a letter sent to her Democrat colleagues today, Pelosi said committee chairs “are working on coronavirus relief legislation as a basis for reconciliation, should that step be needed.”
Pelosi added that “we hope and expect” Republicans will back an aid bill, but “Democrats will not take any tools off the table.”
“We hope and expect Republicans in Congress will support assistance that will bring relief to their communities,” she wrote in the letter to colleagues.
“But the need for action could not be more urgent, and Democrats will not take any tools off the table as to how the House and Senate can get this package done.
“We are grateful to Members for their flexibility with regard to the schedule.”
As part of his $1.9trillion coronavirus relief plan, president Biden proposed a third round of stimulus checks to help millions struggling from the economic fallout of the pandemic.
The $1,400 stimulus check will be added to the $600 checks previously approved by Congress.
Once the bill is passed by Congress, it must be signed by Biden before the IRS distributes the checks.
This is done within days of approval by prepaid debit cards, direct deposit or mailed checks.
Some 16 million Americans are now receiving some type of unemployment benefit, and an estimated 29 million don't have enough to eat.
Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer had previously said he hoped to approve the next round of stimulus check by mid-March, reports Bloomberg News, which is when the current extended unemployment benefits expire.
Both the $300 per week federal jobless benefit supplement and the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program formally expire on March 14.
Many have argued the relief does not go far enough, with some members calling for monthly recurring financial support for those most in need of help.
According to POLITICO, a group of more than 50 House Dems – led by Ilhan Omar – sent a letter to Biden's administration on Thursday urging for recurring checks.
“One more check is not enough," the letter reportedly reads. "Recurring direct payments until the economy recovers will help ensure that people can meet their basic needs, provide racially equitable solutions, and shorten the length of the recession."
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