The House plans to pass the $1.9 trillion Covid relief bill on Wednesday morning

As Democrats rush to send out a fresh round of aid before March 14, the House plans to pass the American Rescue plan on Wednesday morning. Will the bill be enacted in time to extend unemployment benefits before they expire on Sunday?  

Congress Democrats are hurrying to get the new relief bill passed this week, for millions of Americans could lose unemployment benefits if lawmakers fail to act before Sunday, as a $300 per week federal unemployment supplement and the expanded eligibility for insurance expires on March 14.

On Saturday, a week after the House passed the relief bill, the Senate approved the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan in a 50-49 party-line vote.

The upper chamber passed a different version of the relief bill, so the House now needs to approve the Senate-passed proposal.

The Democratic-held House aims to pass the bill on Wednesday morning and send it to President Joe Biden for his signature before the March 14 deadline, in time to renew unemployment aid programs.

The president has already said he expects direct payments of up to $1,400 to start hitting Americans’ bank accounts this month.

According to CNBC, the new legislation includes direct payments of up to $1,400 to most Americans, a $300 weekly boost to jobless benefits into September, and an expansion of the child tax credit for one year. It also puts new funding into Covid-19 vaccine distribution and testing, rental assistance for struggling households, and K-12 schools for reopening costs.

While the GOP and some economists criticized the scope and price tag of the rescue package, Democrats said they needed bold action to prevent a slow recovery and a future economic crisis.

The Senators passed the bill through budget reconciliation, a process that required no Republican support but every Democratic vote.

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