House Passes $1.9 Trillion Pork-Filled COVID ‘Relief’ Package. Here’s What It Includes.

House Democrats’ $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package passed during an early-morning vote on Saturday. The bill passed 219-212, along party lines. Two Democrats, Reps. Jared Golden (ME) and Kurt Schrader (OR), voted in opposition to the bill.

The 591-page bill is filled with pork, the biggest one being an increase in the federal minimum wage over the next five years. The current federal minimum wage sits at $7.25. By year five, it would sit at $15 an hour, assuming the Senate votes in favor of the bill.

House Democrats decided to keep the increase in the bill even though Senate parliamentarian said it violates the budget reconciliation process.

The bill includes another round of stimulus checks. Individuals making less than $75,000 will receive a $1,400 check. Couples earning less than $150,000 will receive a combined $2,800. As an individual or couple’s income increases, their stimulus amount decreases.

Of the $1.9 trillion, $350 billion will go towards states and local governments. Unemployment benefits will provide Americans with $400 a week on top of their state-issued benefits.

Under this bill, the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) is replenished with $7 billion in additional funding. The Emergency Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program will also receive $15 billion.

In addition, the bill ups the child tax credit to $3,600 for children six and under. That credit drops to $3,000 for kids ages seven to 17.

The bill is expected to have an uphill battle in the Senate, particularly with the minimum wage increase tied to the relief package. Moderate Sens. Joe Manchin (WV) and Kyrsten Sinema (AZ) have both said they take issue with the minimum wage increase being part of the COVID relief package.

Beth Baumman

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