The $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 is one step closer to being signed into law, with the legislation passing in the Senate over the weekend. Now, the bill just needs to be approved by the House of Representatives for one final time before it can be signed into law by President Biden. The act includes $1,400 stimulus checks, $300 per week in enhanced unemployment benefits through the summer, a child allowance of up to $3,600 for one year, $350 billion for state aid, $34 billion to expand Affordable Care Act subsidies, and $14 billion for vaccine distribution. The legislation passed the Senate 50-49 because one Republican senator was missing, meaning Vice President Harris did not need to cast a tiebreaking vote.
Some on the left are disappointed with the provisions of the bill as they fall short of what was originally promised. The message Democrats campaigned on was that they would give out $2,000, which quickly became $1,400 when they took power. The minimum wage hike to $15 an hour got approved in the original House bill but had to be negotiated out to appeal to centrist Democrats in the Senate. So there is a huge critique of the Democratic Party to be made here, but Republicans deserve to be shamed as well. Not a single Republican in the House or Senate voted for it, even though they were willing to vote for stimulus bills under President Trump. This is just the latest example of how Republicans view petty politics and obstructing Democrats as more important than doing what’s best for the American people.
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