Top business leaders line up behind Biden's COVID-19 aid plan

Top business leaders line up behind Biden's COVID-19 aid plan
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More than 150 New York-based CEOs and other business leaders are expressing support for President BidenJoe BidenWhite House: Window for finalizing sweeping budget package 'closing' Jayapal says tuition-free community college 'probably won't' be in spending plan Jan. 6 panel votes to hold Bannon in contempt MORE's $1.9 trillion COVID-19 aid package, the American Rescue Plan.

In a joint letter released by the Partnership for New York City on Wednesday, the CEOs of major brands including Zillow, McGraw-Hill and Squarespace called on congressional leaders to pass the plan immediately.

"Previous federal relief measures have been essential, but more must be done to put the country on a trajectory for a strong, durable recovery. Congress should act swiftly and on a bipartisan basis to authorize a stimulus and relief package along the lines of the Biden-Harris administration’s proposed American Rescue Plan," the business executives wrote.

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"The American Rescue Plan mobilizes a national vaccination program, delivers economic relief to struggling families, and supports communities that were most damaged by the pandemic," they argue in the letter, first obtained by CNN

The legislation  the Biden administration's first major legislative push in Congress  is set to be voted on in the weeks ahead, though no timetable has been officially laid out. Democrats are expected to push the bill through via the budget reconciliation process, which would require only 51 votes in the evenly split Senate for it to pass.

The package includes another round of direct payments to Americans as well as more controversial measures such as a federal minimum wage hike, to which some Democrats, including Sen. Joe ManchinJoe ManchinWhite House: Window for finalizing sweeping budget package 'closing' Progressives see budget deal getting close after Biden meeting Democrats at odds with Manchin over child tax credit provision MORE (D-W.Va.), have indicated their opposition.

The House Budget Committee advanced the plan Tuesday on a party-line vote, 19-16, with Republicans arguing that the increased aid, particular relief to local governments, would encourage COVID-19 lockdown measures to continue.