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House prepares to pass COVID relief

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S House of Representatives is preparing to pass President Biden’s 2021 American Rescue Plan on Friday.

Representatives approved the rules governing debate this morning, however have been told to prepare for a long night. A worst case scenario sees the bill being passed early Saturday.

The Rescue Plan includes $1400 direct payments to most Americans, federal unemployment benefits of $400 per week until August, and up to $3600 per child to families, as well as other measures. It will not include a hike to a $15 minimum wage. Lawmakers plan on sending the bill to the President’s desk by March 14, when many unemployment benefit programs end.

Democrats plan to pass the bill by a party line vote- with or without Republican support, causing Republican concern over feeling left out of the process. While they have said they are willing to work across the aisle, Democratic representatives have refused to water down the relief effort- claiming they have a mandate to address the pandemic after winning control of Congress and the White House.