The House of Representatives today passed the COVID-19 Relief/Stimulus package by a vote of 220-211. All Republicans and just one Democrat, Maine Rep. Jared Golden, voted against the measure. President Biden signed the bill without hesitation and payments of USD 1,400 checks to Americans could start in the coming weeks. Both parties wanted to pass the bill as soon as possible to provide much needed help to Americans suffering from economic strife due to the pandemic. The bill however, did not pass without meeting criticism from House and Senate Republicans due to certain policy agendas that Democrats tried to pass into the bill.
To expand on some of the criticisms, members of the GOP lambasted certain portions of the bill as either excessive or unnecessary. One such policy that was removed from the final draft was the USD 15 Federal Minimum Wage. While this could actually benefit lower and middle class workers, a USD 15 Minimum Wage would increase expenses for small business, thus potentially leading to businesses firing part of their staff or even closing all together. Another point of grievance was that borrowing and spending USD 1.9 Trillion would further expand the U.S debt crisis and cause inflation to happen quickly. Though our damaged economy would be stimulated, the U.S debt has soared past USD 28 Trillion and as more money is pumped into the economy the value of the USD will go down in the long run. Also included in the bill is over USD 11 Billion in foreign. Though that amount is minimal compared to the rest of the bill, critics have argued the foreign aid is unnecessary or should rather be spent on additional relief for U.S citizens.
With gridlock as usual in Washington D.C, many Americans were outraged that COVID-19 relief was being delayed. Unfortunately for Republicans, Democrats control all three branches of government. Regardless of whether any criticisms held merit, Democrats called on Republicans to compromise despite the disagreement on the terms of the bill. USD 350 Billion will be provided to each state in COVID-19 relief and USD 14 Billion will go towards vaccine distribution. To get an idea of what you can qualify for from the new relief bill visit this link.