President Joe Biden announced his plan for a new COVID-19 relief package on January 20, 2021 - the day he took office. He, along with Democrat leadership, attempted to gain bipartisan support for the legislation, but ultimately failed to gain Republican support to proceed with the measure. Instead, Democrats will use the budget reconciliation process to pass the relief package with a simple majority vote.
In total, it is a $1.9 trillion plan with the stated goals of: (1) funding a comprehensive COVID response plan, (2) delivering relief to working families, (3) supporting communities that are struggling, and (4) protecting against future cyberattacks. Read on for the top details to know about the plan:
The timing for this bill is still up in the air. President Biden set a deadline of March 14 for passage, as that is when the current funding for extended unemployment insurance expires. That will require Congress to work quickly, and they are attempting to meet the deadline; however, Congress is simultaneously working to confirm Biden’s nominees to his administration and holding an impeachment trial for former President Trump.
Congress’s process began last week when the House and Senate passed and adopted a budget resolution. Over the next few days, House committees will work on marking up and drafting legislation, which will then get sent to the Budget Committee, the Rules Committee, and, eventually, to the floor for a vote. After its expected passage in the House of Representatives, the bill will be sent to the Senate, where it is also expected to pass on a party-line vote. Finally, it will be sent to President Biden for his signature.