The House is laying the groundwork to pass President Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package by the end of next week, as lawmakers race to get the bill out the door before critical pandemic aid provisions run dry in mid-March.

The Biden plan – which includes $1,400 stimulus checks for most Americans, beefed-up unemployment benefits and billions of dollars in budgetary relief for state governments, among other appropriations – will first get a “mark-up” in the House Budget Committee on Monday, aides on the panel announced Thursday.

In the mark-up session, committee members stitch together the various pots of cash in Biden’s plan into one comprehensive piece of legislation.

Once the bill is finalized and approved by the budget panel, it heads to the full House, which is controlled by Democrats, who are unanimously supportive of Biden’s aid plan.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said the budget committee schedule paves the way for a full House vote by next Friday.

“Some time at the end of next week is my hope,” she told reporters at her weekly news conference Thursday.

After House passage, the Senate must approve the bill before it can head to Biden’s desk for a final signature.

Different political dynamics are at play in the Senate, meaning the chamber may amend portions of the legislation.

However, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., has said any changes will be marginal and that he will press to approve the package before March 15, when the $300-per-week federal unemployment bonus and some other pandemic aid appropriations from the last stimulus expire.

Biden’s plan renews the federal unemployment boost at $400-per-week through August.

Republicans on Capitol Hill are uniformly opposed to appropriating another major coronavirus relief package, claiming it will bury future generations of taxpayers in debt.

Because of GOP resistance, Democrats activated a budgetary process known as reconciliation earlier this month that will allow the Senate to pass the relief legislation in a simple majority vote, meaning it won’t need any Republican support.

 


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