Senate Passes COVID Relief Bill Without $15 Minimum Wage

The Senate passed President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID relief package Saturday afternoon. The bill passed on a party-line vote.

It will head back to the House of Representatives for approval before reaching the president’s desk. Key provisions include direct payments to Americans, extension of unemployment benefits, money for K-12 schools, and funds for state and local governments.

Political jockeying and a parliamentarian ruling forced Senate Democrats to make changes to the House version of the bill. The Senate legislation does not include raising the minimum wage, and it completely phases out direct payments for individuals making more than $80,000 and couples earning above $160,000.

Individuals making up to $75,000 or couples making $150,000 will still receive $1,400 payments.

Democrats hope President Biden will sign the legislation before unemployment benefits are set to expire March 14.

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