Daily US Times: On Monday, House Democrats proposed an additional $1,400 in direct payments to Americans as Congress began piecing together a $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package that tracks President Biden’s plan for battling the pandemic and reviving a still staggering economy.
Democrats on the Ways and Means Committee would expand tax credits for families with children, for lower-earning people and those buying health insurance on marketplaces created by the 2010 Affordable Care Act. The panel, which plans to approve the payments measure by week’s end, would also provide health care subsidies for some unemployed workers.
Less than three weeks into his presidency, Joe Biden has declared that vanquishing the virus and resuscitating the economy are his top priorities. The Covid pandemic has killed over 460,000 Americans while the economy has lost 10 million jobs since the pandemic began last year.
Monday’s Ways and Means unveiling of its piece of the package — at over 900 billion dollars, nearly half of Joe Biden’s entire plan — came with Congress’ Democratic leaders hoping to rush the legislation to the president for his signature by mid-March, when existing emergency unemployment benefits expire.
Their schedule reflects a desire by president Biden and congressional Democrats to show they can respond swiftly and decisively to the crisis, even if, as seems likely, they must muscle past solid Republican opposition.
Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal, D-Mass, said: “While it is still our hope that Republicans will join us in doing right by the American people, the urgency of the moment demands that we act without further delay.”