A short while ago, the House of Representatives passed the $1.9 trillion relief bill known as the American Relief Plan. It now heads to the president who will sign it into law. The relief package is going to help many people.
We project that key elements of the American Rescue Plan would reduce that annual poverty rate to 8.7 percent. The policies would reduce poverty by more than half for children and for people in households experiencing job loss. Poverty would fall about 42 percent for Black, non-Hispanic people, 39 percent for Hispanic people, and 34 percent for white, non-Hispanic people, reducing the disparities in poverty rates for Black, non-Hispanic people and Hispanic people relative to white, non-Hispanic people.
Not a single Republican in either the House nor the Senate voted for the bill. Only one Democrat, House member Jared Golden from Maine, voted against it. So this law is as partisan as they come. Good! While the minimum wage increase to $15/hour did not survive, I think that this bill will still be wildly popular because of its huge impact on a wide swathe of people, improving their lives considerably.
Some popular provisions will expire just before the 2022 mid-term elections which will make renewal a major issue in those races.
Democrats are betting they already have the key to success in the 2022 midterm elections: the $1.9 trillion Covid-19 relief bill that President Joe Biden is poised to sign into law.
Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney of New York, chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, said selling the Covid-19 aid bill will be “a big piece of the puzzle” to hold the House majority.
“Anytime you’re delivering for the American people, you’re strengthening your position politically. So this is going to strengthen us because it’s good policy,” he said in an interview. “We should shout it from the rooftops that we are passing historic legislation that will reboot the economy and end the pandemic.”
The legislation includes a per-child cash payment of at least $3,000 for one year and an expansion of “Obamacare” subsidies for two years. The 2022 elections will directly affect the fate of those provisions: Democrats want to extend them, but Republicans may have other ideas if they seize control of Congress.
“They’re always ready to help a big corporation or a rich person, but when a working family needs help, the Republicans tell them to drop dead,” Maloney said, accusing the GOP of showing “a callous disregard for the urgency of this crisis.”
A Pew Research Center poll released Tuesday found that 70 percent of U.S. adults favor Biden’s $1.9 trillion Covid bill, including 41 percent of self-identified Republicans.
I hope Democrats hammer the Republicans on their unanimous opposition to the bill, saying that while the debate over the passage of this bill was going on, Republicans seemed to care more about the welfare of Dr. Seuss characters, the Muppets, and Mr. Potato Head than the lives of real people.