Congressional Democrats are rushing to meet the mid-March deadline for President Biden’s coronavirus relief package before existing benefits such as enhanced unemployment insurance expire. Here’s a look at the $ 1.9 trillion legislation they seek to pass with just Democratic votes. The package includes some things, like a minimum wage of $ 15, that may not survive intra-party negotiations or Senate rules.
What is the overall size of the package?
The House and Senate passed a budget resolution earlier this month that allows them to craft a $ 1.9 trillion relief package. The size of the package has remained the same since it was unveiled by President-elect Biden during the transition period, and after rejecting a proposal by a group of 10 Republicans who argued for a $ 618 billion bill. of dollars.
Biden administration says the package is the right size and the economy needs relief on this scale in order to bring down real unemployment rates that the Federal Reserve estimates at around 10% – due to mistakes classification in government data and people who have left the country. workforce – and to alleviate the economic hardships facing millions of people whose lives and jobs have been disrupted.
“We think it’s very important to have a big package that resolves the pain this has caused,” Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen recently said.