The next stage in advancing the Biden administration’s coronavirus stimulus/relief package is for committees in the House and Senate to draft the budget bills that will form the basis of the reconciliation process that can get the package past the threat of a filibuster in the Senate.
The first drafts of some of those committee bills emerged in the House today.
The House Education and Labor Committee’s draft bill includes President Joe Biden’s proposal for a $15 minimum page. And $130 billion for reopening kindergarten through 12th grade classes, $39 billion for childcare businesses, $5 billion for extended pandemic food benefits, $4 billion for expanded home-heating assistance and $1.4 billion for senior-care services. The committee is set to vote Tuesday on the draft bill. (The proposal for a $15 minimum wage faces its toughest challenge in the Senate where the Senate parliamentarian will rule on whether the proposal can be included in a budget reconciliation bill, according to Senate rules.)
The House Financial Services Committee’s draft bill includes $10 billion to use the Defense Production Act to produce masks and other Covid-19 equipment, $25 billion for rental assistance, $5 billion in assistance for the homeless, $10 billion for direct assistance to homeowners for mortgage payments, property taxes and utility costs, $14 billion in payroll assistance to airlines and an additional $1 billion for airline contractors.
The draft in the Transportation Committee includes $50 billion for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), $30 billion for transit systems, $8 billion for airports, and $1.5 billion for Amtrak.
The House Ways and Means Committee will meet on Wednesday on the tax elements in the coronavirus package. That committee’s draft includes $1,40 checks to individuals, paid-leave benefits, expanded tax credits for families with children and extended unemployment benefits. The committee’s draft language–which is subject to change–increases the annual child credit to $3,600 a year for children five and younger and to $3,000 for those six and up. The current maximum child tax credit is $2,000 and is paid just once year. The current proposal would pay the credit in monthly installments from July through December. Single-parent households earning up to $75,000 or couples making $150,000 would get the full credit amounts, which would phase out at incomes above those levels