So far, so good on the stimulus bill

The Democrats in the House of Representatives have unveiled their legislation for the stimulus and they have stuck close to the original Biden plan, resisting Republican calls to water it down.

The House bill would provide direct payments worth up to $1,400 per person. A family of four could receive up to $5,600.

Individuals earning less than $75,000 a year and married couples earning less than $150,000 would be sent the full amount.

The House bill would extend two key pandemic unemployment programs through August 29. It would also increase the federal weekly boost to $400, from the current $300, and continue it for the same time period.

It would lengthen the duration of the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program to up to 74 weeks, from 50 weeks, and the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation program to 48 weeks, from 24 weeks.

The former provides benefits to freelancers, gig workers, independent contracts and certain people affected by the pandemic, while the latter increases the duration of payments for those in the traditional state unemployment system.

In an effort to combat poverty, it would expand the child tax credit to $3,600 for children under 6 and $3,000 for children under age 18.

It will also raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour over a period of a few years.

There is a lot more detail at the link.

You can expect Republicans to oppose it because the bill is targeted at those who are really hurting and there is little or nothing for the very wealthy (at least as far as I can see) and so will a couple of conservative Democrats who have bought into the deficit-inflation argument or are in Republican-friendly districts.

But it is a good start.


  1. JM says

    I expect it will get cut down some because the current version has some things in it that some Democrats in the Senate have said they will vote against. The Democrats seem to be aiming to pass as strong a version in the House as they can and negotiate down from that when they get to the Senate. A few of the things, such as $15 minimum wage with a short phase in and higher then previously planned stimulus to states look like some padding so they have some things they can cut easily.
    Possibly they have learned something from the Obama years where they preemptively watered down their bills in the hopes of getting some Republican votes and it didn’t work. The Republicans would negotiate just as hard from the already softened position and several bills ended up as wet pulp that nobody really supported.

  2. Who Cares says

    There is still no guarantee that the minimum wage will survive a challenge by the Republicans.

    First step will be a challenge under Byrd rule. Unfortunately there is a case to be made that a minimum wage hike is not something that fits in a bill meant to keep people alive during the pandemic especially if it is basically only starting to be effective after said pandemic is supposed to be over. That said there is precedent (thank the Republicans for that when they were trying and succeeding to push stuff in unrelated bills) for this.
    Then there is a the reconciliation process itself. Depending on how the non Republicans vote and deal it might be used as a sacrifice to keep other items in the bill.

    Note there are more things that are in the bill that the Republicans will try to challenge like increasing child support for poor families on the same reasons.

    And one of the more revolting reasons to oppose this bill? It makes the Democrats look good.
    The people are seriously at war with about half the population of the US since that half is not Republican.

  3. says

    It will also raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour over a period of a few years.

    Minimum wage is chasing inflation and by the time the current plan hits $15 per hour the money will still be far behind where it ought to be.

    Minimum wage is a Capitalist boondoggle designed to create the appearance of progress when the reality is that wages continue to be fractured and stunted.

    What is necessary is a minimum wage fairly determined to provide a living wage and annually indexed to inflation.

    This, of course, will never happen until a populist party—representing, without classification or identification the mass of workers—forms and wrests power from the established Pro-Business Pro-War party in power, with minor diversions, since WWII.

    Arguing, as we have for more than 80 years, about a minimum wage is an intentional distraction from the vital changes necessary to bring growth and prosperity to all Americans.

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