Stimulus calculator: How much will you get from $1,400 stimulus payment?

Brunilde Fioravanti
Febbraio 26, 2021

What else is in the new coronavirus relief bill?

Hiking the minimum wage to $15 an hour is on the docket, in addition to pension issues and subsidies meant to help laid-off workers remain on their health insurance plans.

The push to pass the package before the end of the month is due to the contents of the relief bill: extended unemployment benefits, which are now set to expire on March 14; stimulus checks for qualifying Americans; state and local aid and money for vaccination efforts.

But some elements of the package, particularly the minimum wage hike, may not pass muster under the Byrd rule, which stipulates that matters "extraneous" to the budget process can not be passed through reconciliation.

Rep. Jason Smith (R-Mo.), the ranking member on the House Budget Committee, told Axios: "It's actually going to turn into more of a climate change proposal that really placates their radical environmentalists".

The House Oversight Committee last week approved the assistance to help pay the salaries of first responders, school teachers and other public employees as lawmakers formally drafted the stimulus bill.

Senate Democrats are expecting to pass the bill through budget reconciliation, which allows the Senate to pass budget-related legislation with just a simple majority of 51 votes instead of the usual 60-vote majority required in the Senate to get past the filibuster.

But reconciliation has strict budgetary rules, including a set of requirements that every element has a substantial impact on federal spending, the debt, and revenue over 10 years.

All eyes are on Elizabeth MacDonough, the first woman to hold the Senate's non-partisan parliamentarian position.

State and local aid has proven to be one of the most divisive aspects of the multi-trillion dollar effort Washington has mounted in the past year to fight the virus and keep the world's largest economy afloat.

© J. Scott Applewhite/AP Photo Senate Parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough, second from left, works beside then-Vice President Mike Pence during the certification of Electoral College ballots in the presidential election.

Biden and Democrats turned away a $618 billion compromise proposal earlier this month that was offered by some moderate Republicans.

Lowering the overall wage increase could satisfy centrists like Sen.

But if MacDonough does rule that the minimum wage hike can be included in the final bill, that provision has faced pushback from Democratic Senators Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema, complicating the prospects of it passing in the Senate.

Minimum wage: Progressives are pushing for an increase to the minimum wage, boosting it to $15 an hour by 2025. But Republicans say other provisions of the bill are problematic and have nothing to do with economic relief.

But Republicans have balked at providing more aid to state and local governments. "$10 seems like a reasonable wage in many states with lower labor costs". The pathway to success is to "push as hard as you can to get as much as you can now that you want, not compromise your principles and know that tomorrow's another day, " said Schneider, a leader of the New Democrat Coalition, a group of almost 100 moderate House Democrats.

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