By now, you probably know the price tag of the Covid-19 relief bill the Senate passed over the weekend ($1.9 trillion), the partisan split over it (no Republican voted for it) and what’s not in the legislation ($15 minimum wage increase).
But here are the policies that are in the bill, per NBC’s Sahil Kapur:
- $1,400 stimulus checks capped at individuals making less than $80,000 per year and households earning $160,000.
- $300 per week jobless benefits through September.
- $350 billion for states and local government.
- Payments up to $3,600 per child.
- $34 billion to expand Obamacare subsidies.
- $14 billion for vaccine distribution.
The legislation, which now heads back to the House for final passage, also includes $130 billion for schools.
The bill’s overwhelming focus is on lower-income Americans, as the New York Times’ Jim Tankersley writes.
“For [Biden], the plan is more than just a stimulus proposal. It is a declaration of his economic policy — one that captures the principle Democrats and liberal economists have espoused over the past decade: that the best way to stoke faster economic growth is from the bottom up,” Tankersley says.
“Mr. Biden’s approach in his first major economic legislation is in stark contrast to President Donald J. Trump’s, whose initial effort in Congress was a tax-cut package in 2017 that largely benefited corporations and wealthier Americans.”
Decoding Manchin on the filibuster
Looking ahead to future legislation, one of us on Sunday asked Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.V., if he’d support ending the Senate filibuster on legislation like H.R. 1’s election reform.
Manchin’s answer: “The Senate is the most unique body of government in the world — governing body in the world. It’s deliberate. It’s basically designed, Chuck, to make sure the minority has input. … And now if you want to make it a little bit more painful, make him stand there and talk, I’m willing to look at any way we can. But I’m not willing to take away the involvement of the minority.”
He also said, “I’m not willing to go into reconciliation until we at least get bipartisanship or get working together or allow the Senate to do its job. Just by assuming that, ‘Hey, they’ll never work with us. That’s the other side. This is tribal. Republicans will never agree on anything’ or ‘Democrats will never agree.’ I don’t subscribe to that. I don’t buy into that. There’s no need for us to go to reconciliation until the other process has failed.”
Bottom line: Manchin still supports the filibuster, because he says it’s important to protect the minority party’s rights.
But, he’s willing to reform it (by actually forcing objecting senators to talk), and he’s willing to use reconciliation on budget-related bills after a bipartisan approach has failed.
“Manchin is — and always was — unlikely to break on filibuster. But as long as he’s ok with 50-50 reconciliation votes, you’re talking potentially trillions of dollars worth of progressive priorities going through. That’s why this is a BIG interview,” NBC’s Benjy Sarlin tweeted.
Data Download: The numbers you need to know today
$1.9 trillion: The amount of the massive Covid relief bill that passed through the Senate on Saturday.
$86 billion: The amount in the bill intended to shore up failing pensions.
More than 93 percent: The share of American children who will benefit under the bill’s expanded aid for kids.
29,125,075: The number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in the United States, per the most recent data from NBC News and health officials. (That’s 168,040 more than Friday morning.)
527,569: The number of deaths in the United States from the virus so far, per the most recent data from NBC News. (That’s 4,439 more than Friday morning.)
40,212: The number of people currently hospitalized with coronavirus in the United States.
363.8 million: The number of coronavirus tests that have been administered in the United States so far, according to researchers at The COVID Tracking Project.
90,351,750: Number of vaccine doses administered in the U.S.
30,686,881: People fully vaccinated in the U.S.
52: The number of days left for Biden to reach his 100-day vaccination goal.