On Monday, the House Budget Committee held a virtual markup to amalgamate various legislative components that have been submitted by House committees so there is one vehicle for President Biden’s American Rescue Plan. The House Budget Committee subsequently advanced the $1.9 trillion coronavirus (COVID-19) relief package, sending the legislation to the full House for a vote. However on Wednesday, the House Budget Committee released new text of the relief bill, revealing provisions for raising the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour, extending and increasing unemployment benefits, and sending stimulus payments of $1,400 to most taxpayers. The biggest point of contention in the updated measure is language that would raise the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2025. It remains unclear whether such a provision would successfully pass the Byrd Rule under budget reconciliation requirements as well as whether all 50 Democrats in the Senate would even support such a measure.
One of the key components of the $1.9 trillion package is monies for states, counties, cities and tribal governments. As such, RCRC officially supports this component of the package and has continually advocated for direct funding to counties to be included in any next round of federal coronavirus relief, regardless of county size and with minimal restrictions on the use of those monies. As this relief package contains direct payments to counties and moves through the congressional process, this remains RCRC’s top federal priority.