The Lead: Stimulus Moves Ahead
senator chuck schumer credit: getty
Republicans better run for cover because a Democratic steamroller is coming for them. Senate Democrats took the first step Tuesday toward passing a $1.9 trillion stimulus bill without Republican support.
Democrats were toying with the idea of bipartisanship until Republicans floated a half-baked $600 billion package that reduced monies in just about every category.
Now that the kumbaya time has passed, Dems are trying to pass Biden’s first major legislative effort with a 50-50 Senate. With that tight of a margin, Democrats have no room for error, including Senator Joe Manchin, who opposes raising the minimum wage to $15.
“We must address the urgency of the Covid-19 crisis,” Manchin said in a statement. “But let me be clear — and these are words I shared with President Biden — our focus must be targeted on the Covid-19 crisis and Americans who have been most impacted by this pandemic.”
Despite his reservations on the minimum wage, Manchin did agree to move forward with the $1.9 trillion dollar Biden package.
With an impending impeachment trial and expiring unemployment benefits, Democrats are facing strong headwinds. The current unemployment benefits expire in mid-March and that means they need to pass a bill by March 7 to prevent a lapse in coverage.