The package includes direct aid to small businesses, $1,400 direct checks to Americans making less than $75,000 annually, an increase in the child tax credit, direct funding to state and local governments and more money for vaccine distribution. The bill also includes funding for schools both at the secondary and higher education level.
The committee vote was 19 to 16, with one Democrat, Rep. Lloyd Doggett of Texas, joining Republicans in voting against the relief package. However, Doggett’s spokesman said in a statement the vote against the package was an accident and that Doggett “supports the COVID-19 relief legislation.”
The committee will continue to hold votes on non-binding resolutions, but Monday afternoon’s advancing of the bill takes the official step toward the vote by the full chamber.
The task in the Senate could be more difficult as two Democratic moderates — Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona — have made it clear they are not comfortable voting for a coronavirus relief bill that includes an increase in the minimum wage to $15 an hour over five years.