WASHINGTON (Nexstar) — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says the House of Representatives will vote on President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package as early as Friday.
“It’s about putting vaccinations in the arm, money in the pocket, children in the schools, workers in their jobs and it is what this country needs,” Pelosi said.
The bill would provide direct aid to small businesses, include $1,400 direct checks to Americans making less than $75,000 a year, increase the child tax credit and provide funding for vaccine distribution and schools.
“Just so we can keep this economy going until we can open up the system, open up the economy,” said Congressman Henry Cuellar (D-TX).
“I wasn’t sent to Congress to bankrupt the country. This is borrowed money,” said Congressman Ralph Norman (R-SC).
Norman says the bill is too expensive.
“I don’t think you are going to find many Republicans who are going to favor this bill, if any,” he said.
Still, Pelosi says the bill has enough democratic support to pass before moving onto the Senate, but Senators remain split over a provision that would increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour. Republicans oppose the hike.
“So they’re going to oppose direct checks to struggling families, another round of assistance for small businesses, money for schools and vaccinations. The argument is absurd,” said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.
But some Democrats, including Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona also say they oppose a $15 wage hike. Manchin proposed lowering it to $11 an hour.