Dhe American House of Representatives passed a $ 1.9 trillion corona aid package on Wednesday. 220 MPs voted for the law, 211 were against. With this, the democratic majority prevailed against the republican opposition. Almost all of the MPs adhered to the respective party line. Only one Democrat voted against the package. The Senate, the smaller chamber of the American Congress, had given its place over the weekend. The package includes grants for families, aid for the unemployed and the needy, and funds for schools and universities, and is designed to stimulate the economy in the United States. For it to go into effect, President Joe Biden has yet to sign it.
Political correspondent for North America based in Washington.
Biden made no secret of the fact that he counts the Corona aid package among the most important projects of his presidency. The gigantic 1.9 trillion dollar law will not only lead the country out of the crisis, but also transform America’s economy: The Biden administration will take care of those who cannot help themselves, was the message.
Biden’s allies have been promoting the package to the public for days, as it were, as a catalyst for the post-Covid period: “It depends on the leadership strength,” said Hakeem Jeffries, a member of the parliamentary group leadership in the House of Representatives, and added: “That The rate of vaccination is increasing, the number of infections is falling, checks for $ 1,400 for citizens are on their way. And that is just the beginning.”
Our own ranks closed
Biden plans to reach the public from the White House and travel across the country to explain his policies. His confidants spread that the President considered it a mistake that Barack Obama did not advertise his stimulus package more aggressively during the financial crisis. He does not want to repeat this mistake. Even before the law was passed, it was said that it was a personal triumph of Biden. Not only did he enforce financial aid for families, which cost $ 400 billion, but also aid for the unemployed and the needy, money to boost the vaccination campaign, and funds for schools and universities to help reopen it.
The aid package is supported by a clear majority in public: 61 percent expressed praise. Biden’s personal approval ratings are less positive: They are 51 percent – higher than Donald Trump’s at the same time, of course, but lower than Obama’s and Bill Clinton’s. This is another reason why Biden is planning his PR campaign, the message of which – with all due caution – should be: the long, dark winter is over.
The approval ratings reflect the ongoing polarization in the country. In the negotiations, Biden failed to send a cross-faction signal. The Democrats had hoped to get approval from a few moderate Republicans. But the “Grand Old Party” calculated differently. The party itself is split into a populist and a traditionalist wing: while some rely on fundamental opposition, others are rediscovering their fiscal-conservative identity. You accuse the Democrats of charging the law with left-wing ideology. The Democrats counter that they had repeatedly demonstrated in the Corona crisis that it was about the matter and not about party politics. Therefore, they would have voted for Trump’s stimulus packages last year.
Biden has to do without a bipartisan signal. But he did succeed in integrating potential dissenters into his own ranks in the Senate. He benefited from the fact that the bipartisan legal counsel decided that the Democrats’ intention to link the package with an increase in the minimum wage to $ 15 violated Senate rules. The deletion of the project annoyed the party left. However, it secured the approval of centrist Joe Manchin, who later had to be taken into prayer by the president on another matter. In the meantime, the former Senator Biden was back in his old element.