US News Biden's Stimulus Package Passes Senate Crisis

03:33  07 march  2021
03:33  07 march  2021 Source:   lepoint.fr

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A Near hours of debate, frenzied negotiations and a marathon vote on many amendments, the US Senate finally approved the $ 1.9 trillion plan on Saturday dollars wanted by Joe Biden to revive the world's largest economy, hit by the pandemic.

The bill was adopted only by the votes of the Democratic senators, by 50 votes to 49.

The leader of the Democrats in the House of Representatives, Steny Hoyer, indicated that the text would be considered by the lower house on Tuesday , before a last vote. In the majority, Democrats are expected to approve it quickly so that Joe Biden can enact it by March 14, before the scheduled suspension of unemployment benefit payments.

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The American president welcomed the vote in the Senate of a plan which the United States "desperately need", according to him, to get out of the crisis born of the coronavirus pandemic.

"We have taken a giant step" to come to the aid of the Americans, said, from the White House, the head of state, who had made this massive support plan one of his campaign promises.

"This law is going to give more aid to more people than anything the federal government has done in decades," Democrat leader Chuck Schumer said just before the final vote.

Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell retorted that never before has Congress spent so much money "so inconsistently or after such a sloppy process."

Checks for $ 1,400

The stimulus plan includes checks of $ 1,400 for millions of Americans, as well as $ 350 billion in aid to states and local communities.

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It also includes billions of dollars to fight against the pandemic, including 49 billion for screening and research, in addition to 14 billion for the distribution of the vaccine.

The debates had been paralyzed for more than nine hours on Friday by the opposition of a conservative Democratic senator to a new provision on unemployment benefits, however the result of an agreement publicly supported by the White House.

It was only after a call from Joe Biden and concessions that this senator, Joe Manchin, finally gave his support to a new amendment, which provides for the extension of allowances of $ 300 per week until the beginning of September. , instead of the end of September as initially planned.

This compromise underlines the immense power of a handful of moderates in this Senate without a comfortable majority. And is sure to make progressives creak.

With their 50 senators, against 50 Republicans, the Democrats can count on the vote of Vice-President Kamala Harris in the event of a tie in the upper house but can not afford any defection.

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The Republicans have opposed the recovery plan as a whole, which they consider too costly and poorly targeted. One of them was absent on Saturday.

"The American people strongly support what we are doing," Joe Biden assured during a press briefing. "And it is this message that we will retain, including our Republican friends."

Economic mini-boom

Invoking the memory of the great crisis of 2008, the president insists that it is necessary to think big to resolutely propel the economy towards recovery, without risk of relapse.

He had thus tempered Friday the enthusiasm created by good employment figures in the United States.

"At this rate, it will take two years to get back to the nails" and find the level of February 2020, warned the president. Some 18 million people are still receiving benefits after losing their jobs or seeing their income plunge.

Bars and restaurants, which have suffered particularly since the onset of the crisis, are the ones that hired the most last month, followed by leisure and accommodation activities, health services, retail sales and manufacturing industry.

And the companies of the country are especially putting themselves in order of battle for the small economic boom announced.

From the spring, consumption should indeed jump, driven by public aid distributed since the start of the crisis which, coupled with falling spending, filled the bank accounts of Americans, especially the wealthiest.

Thanks to the stimulus plan, "I am sure that when we come out of the pandemic, Americans will be greeted by a solid economy," said Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen in a statement on Saturday.

The $ 1.9 trillion project would be the third exceptional aid plan approved by Congress during the pandemic.

jul-cjc-elc-juj / lpt

06/03/2021 23:26:32 - Washington (AFP) - © 2021 AFP

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