House plans to pass relief bill Wednesday

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi speaks during her weekly press conference at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., February 18, 2021.

Kevin Lemarque | Reuters

House Democrats aim to pass the $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief bill on Wednesday so President Joe Biden can sign it by the weekend.

The chamber received the Senate-passed package on Tuesday, and will take procedural steps to set up final approval Wednesday morning, according to Majority Leader Steny Hoyer’s office. Biden aims to sign the plan in time to beat a Sunday deadline to renew unemployment aid programs. It can take days for Congress to formally send huge bills to the White House.

The president previously said he expects direct payments of up to $1,400 to start hitting Americans’ bank accounts this month.

Democrats will likely pass the legislation without Republican votes, as the GOP questions the need for nearly $2 trillion more in federal spending. The bill got through the Senate without Republican support through the budget reconciliation process.

On Tuesday, House Democratic Caucus Chair Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., told reporters he is “110% confident” his party has the votes to approve the plan.

This story is developing. Please check back for updates.

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