The House has passed -- intact and along party lines -- the relief bill drafted by Democrats to enact President Biden's proposed American Rescue Plan stimulus and relief package. The bill now heads to the Senate, where passage of some form of the bill is likely, but more complicated: the current package contains a minimum wage hike that is not permitted under current Senate procedural rules.
The bill would extend or expand many relief and assistance measures passed in 2020 by a divided Congress acting to effect priorities of the Trump administration, including individual stimulus payments and expanded pandemic unemployment insurance. It would also add billions in new spending for expanded vaccinations, testing, state and local aid, and other programs. Democrats in Congress would like to pass the package by mid-March, when many of the measures passed in 2020 otherwise will expire. Republicans are widely opposed to many of the new proposed measures (such as state and local aid), and some oppose extending relief passed last year.