House vote on COVID-19 relief expected by Wednesday

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.)
Greg Nash

An expected House vote on Tuesday to send the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package to President Biden’s desk may not end up happening until Wednesday.

Democratic aides said Monday that the House is still awaiting bill processing papers from the Senate for the massive proposal. Depending on when the House receives those papers, the final vote could still occur on Tuesday or possibly Wednesday.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) initially announced Saturday shortly after the Senate passed the bill that the House would vote Tuesday to clear it to the president.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said the vote would be Wednesday morning “at the latest.”
“It has some changes that they have to precisely write,” Pelosi said of the Senate bill. 

As of Monday afternoon, the exact vote timing is still fluid.

The Senate passed the legislation on Saturday in a 50-49 party-line vote. Democrats adopted changes pursued by centrists that would cap income eligibility for direct stimulus payments to individuals making $80,000 instead of $100,000 like the previous rounds of pandemic relief, as well as keep the weekly supplemental unemployment insurance payments at $300 rather than increasing it to $400 as under the original House version.

Senate Democrats also added a provision to ensure the first $10,200 of unemployment insurance benefits aren’t subject to taxes.

Individuals making $75,000 or less will still be eligible for the full $1,400 stimulus checks, while those making up to $80,000 will get smaller phased-out payments.

That means the House will have to take a second vote on the legislation to approve the Senate changes.

Biden said Monday that he plans to sign the COVID-19 relief bill into law “as soon as I can get it.”

Rep. Pete Aguilar (Calif.), vice chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, said Monday a one-day delay would not prevent Democrats from getting the bill to Biden’s desk before Sunday, when unemployment benefits are set to expire.

“We’ll pass it. It’ll get signed into law by the 14th, and we’ll get people real relief,” he said.

The House is also scheduled to vote on three other top agenda items this week: a bill to make it easier for workers to organize unions, as well as two gun control measures to require universal background checks and give federal investigators more time to perform background checks.

House Democrats previously passed all three bills in the last session of Congress, but all were ignored by the Senate since it was controlled by Republicans at the time.

Mike Lillis contributed. Updated at 4:32 p.m.

Tags American Rescue Plan Coronavirus coronavirus aid coronavirus relief coronavirus stimulus Joe Biden Nancy Pelosi Pete Aguilar Steny Hoyer

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