CORONAVIRUS STIMULUS CHECKS

Third stimulus check passed in the Senate: when is voting in the House of Representatives?

The Senate voted to pass the American Rescue Plan but amendments to the bill mean that it will need one more vote in Congress before President Biden can sign it into law.

Third stimulus check passed in the Senate: when is voting in the House of Representatives?
DPA vía Europa Press DPA vía Europa Press

On Saturday the Senate finally passed the covid-19 relief bill with a party lines vote of 50-49 in favour. The vote sees President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan clear the Upper House and will now head to the House of Representatives for a second vote there.

The bill includes a round of stimulus checks worth up to $1,400, which Biden has said he hopes to begin distributing before the end of the month. Speaking after the Senate vote, House Majority Leader Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD) said he was optimistic about the news:

"The Senate has now passed President Biden's American Rescue Plan to provide long-awaited relief to Americans suffering from the economic impacts of covid-19 and to boost our capacity to save lives by ramping up the deployment of testing and vaccines."

He added: “The help that so many of our people have been waiting for during months of Republican inaction is one step closer.”

Here’s what we know so far about an expected date for that all-important vote in the House, and when to expect the third stimulus check to arrive.

Amended stimulus bill to return to the House for another vote

On Saturday afternoon Rep. Hoyer confirmed that they have already scheduled the final House vote, and members do not have to wait long. Hoyer told reporters in the Capitol:

On Tuesday, the House will consider the Senate's amended version of the American Rescue Plan, so that we can send this bill to President Biden for his signature early next week.”

Shortly after the Senate vote President Joe Biden gave a White House address in which he promised that distribution for the third round of stimulus checks would begin before the end of the month. Distribution is expected to begin about a week after the bill is officially signed into law, so it appears that the Democrats are on track to pass the bill ahead of their 14 March target.

House to vote for a second time after unemployment amendment

The House of Representatives first voted on the $1.9 trillion covid-19 relief package in late February and passed the legislation with a final vote of 219-212. Two Democrats broke ranks and voted against the President’s plan, but it was a fairly comfortable victory.

However when the bill moved to the Senate, Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin threw a spanner in the works during the vote-a-rama as he threatened to vote for a GOP amendment that curbed the unemployment benefits provision considerably.

This threatened the Democrat’s slender majority and so, to keep Manchin onside, the Democrats compromised and lowered the weekly jobless payment from $400 to $300 per person. This duly kept Manchin’s all-important vote, but altered the bill that had been passed by the House just days earlier.

As such, the amended bill will now return to the House for a final vote. Speed is of the essence for the Democrats, particularly considering that the current unemployment benefits are due to expire on 14 March.