Jayapal said she personally called Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Friday morning when it looked like Democrats might relent to a GOP proposal on unemployment aid and told him: “We cannot weaken this thing any more, or I don’t know what’s going to happen in the House.”
Jayapal said the Senate changes proved “relatively minor in the grand scheme of things,” with the exception of the minimum wage hike — a loss the left had already been bracing for. To get the wage raised, she said, “this makes it clear that we’ll have to reform the filibuster.”
House passage, whether Tuesday or Wednesday, would deliver on Biden’s top policy ambition from the 2020 campaign: a rapid investment in vaccines, school reopenings and other public health measures intended to revive an ailing economy.
Two moderate House Democrats voted against Biden’s package in February: Reps. Jared Golden of Maine and Kurt Schrader of Oregon.
Schrader announced Monday that he plans to support it after the Senate’s changes, noting that he still has concerns about “the size and scope” of the bill but says “the Senate changes provide meaningful relief for Oregonians in need.”
Still, whether or not the party is fully united on the final vote, most Democrats argue that they’re making an informed leap toward spending that’s designed to combat virus-era job losses on par with the depths of last decade’s Great Recession.
“When people get the money, they’re not going to admire it in their bank vault. They’re going to spend it,” Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Ill.) said. “That’s going to multiply the economic impact, and it’s going to be hugely beneficial.”