Joe Biden’s Corona aid package clears the first hurdle

The new US government plans to spend the equivalent of 1.6 trillion euros on the fight against the corona crisis. Now President Biden has an initial success, but the harder part is yet to come.

The Corona aid package from US President Joe Biden has cleared a first hurdle: The House of Representatives in Washington approved the 1.9 trillion dollar (1.6 trillion euros) package of measures on Saturday night. 219 MPs voted for the economic stimulus and aid package, 212 MPs against, including two Democrats. Now the Senate has to agree.

“The text is approved,” said House Democratic majority leader Nancy Pelosi. The approval of the House of Representatives was considered certain, as Biden’s Democrats have a majority in the Congress Chamber. The aid package provides checks for $ 1,400 to millions of citizens. In addition, $ 160 billion is earmarked for corona vaccinations, tests and health workers, $ 130 billion for the safe reopening of schools, and $ 350 billion in aid to cities and states.

Republicans oppose raising the minimum wage

In a next step, the Senate has to approve, where part of Biden’s plan suffered a setback beforehand: The official responsible for the rules of procedure in this chamber decided that the national minimum wage cannot be increased to US $ 15 per hour as part of the economic stimulus package . Biden was disappointed, but let it be known that he respected the decision. He called on Congress to quickly adopt its “American rescue plan”. The scope of the measures would correspond to almost ten percent of US economic output.

Democrats and Republicans are arguing violently over the new stimulus and aid package. The majority of the opposition Republicans in Congress are critical of the aid package. They think the help is excessive and insufficiently targeted.

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