The U.S. House of Representatives passed President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package late Friday night, with a 219 to 212 vote.
None of the House Republicans voted for the bill, and two Democrats voted against it.
The package is likely to fail in the Senate, due to the lack of any Senate Republican support for the inclusion of a federal minimum wage hike from $7.25 to $15 per hour.
Rep. Salud Carbajal, D-Santa Barbara, voted in support of the package.
“The need for another round of COVID-19 relief resources has been apparent for months,” he said in a written statement. “Central Coast businesses have shuttered, workers have been laid off, and our children are falling behind in school. More families face eviction and food insecurity with each passing day.
“State and local government representatives have told me they need more federal assistance to provide essential services and roll out vaccines. Today, I’m pleased to say more help is on the way.”
The measure would include another $1,400 stimulus check for eligible recipients, along with additional financial support for small businesses, child care, rental assistance and vaccination efforts.
“We are facing a once in a lifetime pandemic and the American Rescue Plan is a crucial investment that meets the moment,” Rep. Carbajal said. “This bill provides the critical funding needed to distribute vaccines, safely reopen schools, keep small businesses afloat and lift Americans out of poverty. I’m glad we were able to deliver this critical assistance so we can get through this pandemic and back on our feet.”
The Biden administration hopes a version of the bill will be passed by mid-March, before the current unemployment insurance benefits provided in an earlier relief package expires. Any adjustments to it would delay relief, sending it back to the House.