Senate Democrats plan to prioritize a invoice containing extra Covid reduction, together with further $1,400 funds to many Individuals and cash to speed up vaccine deployment, as their “first order of legislative enterprise” once they assume management of the chamber.
The priorities, which Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the incoming majority chief, outlined in a letter to colleagues on Tuesday, echo most of the insurance policies that President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. has signaled he’ll formally unveil on Thursday.
The president-elect has stated repeatedly in recent days that he’ll push Congress to go an extra pandemic reduction invoice meant to spice up the flagging financial restoration and to speed up efforts to deploy vaccine doses. In a name with Mr. Schumer and Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Friday, Mr. Biden pressured the necessity for “instant financial reduction for households and small companies, funding for Covid-19 response, together with vaccinations, testing, college reopening, and state and native frontline employees,” in line with a readout from the Biden transition group.
Mr. Schumer picked up on these themes in his letter. “The work of the 117th Congress will start within the wake of a devastating assault, on the heels of a devastating 12 months,” he wrote.
“We have now a chance to work with our Home colleagues and a brand new administration to defeat the virus, present the reduction the American folks want, and reunite the nation,” he stated.
Mr. Schumer stated the instant reduction invoice would include the extra cash, on high of $600 particular person funds Congress authorized final month, to meet the promise of $2,000 funds that Mr. Biden made to voters in Georgia’s runoff elections this month: “We’ll get that performed.”
He additionally stated it will include cash for vaccine distribution, colleges, small companies and help for state and native governments, which was omitted of the final Covid bundle in a dispute with Republicans. Mr. Schumer stated senators would additionally put together broader laws to deal with local weather change, infrastructure, manufacturing, immigration, legal justice, inequality and elections.
Democrats will management the Senate by the narrowest of margins — it is going to be cut up 50-50, with Vice President-elect Kamala Harris holding the power to interrupt any ties. Mr. Schumer stated Democrats would look to work with Republicans on laws “when and the place we will” however supplied a warning to the opposite get together: “If our Republican colleagues determine to not companion with us in our efforts to deal with these points, we is not going to let that cease progress.”