The cavalry is on the march and ready to come to the rescue of the American economy . After two marathon days of negotiations and delaying maneuvers, the United States Senate approved this Saturday the massive Democratic stimulus package to face the pandemic and re- float economic activity , one year after the start of the first confinements.
The law was passed with the opposition bloc of Republicans , unable, however, to halt the first major legislative victory of Joe Biden, which will be able to fulfill the priority promise of your campaign. This new injection of liquidity, in addition to the two previous ones approved during the presidency of Donald Trump , will contribute 1.9 trillion dollars to the US economy .
The stimulus has yet to be ratified in the House of Representatives , but no surprises are expected there, given Democrats’ relatively large majority. A party that had to make last-minute concessions to its more moderate senators to prevent the law from derailing in the Senate, a worthy bobbin lace that ended up also accepting the most progressive wing of the party.
The vote was resolved on completely partisan lines – 50 votes (Democrats) in favor to 49 (Republicans) against- despite the overwhelming support expressed by Americans in the polls. This outcome shows that, while Biden has pledged to seek consensus with conservatives, he is willing to take advantage of his majorities in Congress to advance his agenda.
Economic boom forecasts
“Without this rescue plan, the improvement will go too slow,” said the new president on Friday, responding to objections from Republicans, who fear that the economy will overheat as employment reactivates, the incidence of the pandemic and the vaccination campaign takes cruising speed . Republicans consider that the approved package is excessive and could trigger inflation .
A scarecrow shared by some economists, given the predictions for the second half of the year, in which an economic boom is expected inaudito in several decades. “We cannot afford one step forward and two steps back. We have to defeat the virus, provide essential aid and build an inclusive economy, ”stressed Biden.
The American Rescue Plan , as the law has been christened, includes a direct payment of $ 1,400 to all Americans who earn less than $ 75,000 annually (a limit set at 150,000 for those families filing jointly). It will also extend the $ 300 a week that the unemployed receive from the federal government and that is added to the subsidies provided by the states.
That figure is slightly lower than initially proposed, a concession to more moderate Democrats, who feared it would discourage job hunting. In exchange for this concession, aid to the unemployed – more than 10 million Americans – will not be taxed. parallelchild tax allowances increase .
Money to fight the coronavirus
The management of the pandemic will take other items. The package includes 20,000 million dollars to intensify the development of vaccines against Covid-19 , as well as another 9,000 million to accelerate their distribution.
There is also a lot of money (130,000 million) to help schools reopen their doors after a year of virtual classes and another 350,000 to cover the fiscal holes left by the pandemic in municipalities and states , forced to reduce the services they provide to citizens . There are also grants for specific sectors such as restaurants .
Sleepless night in the Senate
The first major legislative victory of Joe Biden has arrived after one of the longest and injured debates that are remembered in the Senate. The House debated the law for 27 uninterrupted hours , a non-stop marathon that lasted throughout the early hours of Saturday and caused some senators to literally fall asleep at their desks.
The palizón began Thursday, when a Republican amendment forced the ushers of the House to read the entire 628 pages of the law , a litany that lasted for 10 hours and 44 minutes.
It would not be the last procrastination maneuver by the conservatives , who tabled up to two dozen amendments considering that part of the package includes Democratic priorities unrelated to the pandemic or the most immediate needs of the economy.
The uncertainty was compounded by the refusal of Democrat Joe Manchin, possibly the most conservative of his senators, to accept some of the initial proposals. His party took up to 12 hours to convince him, an agreement that came after several concessions to the more moderate sector of the party .