Pelosi is doubling down on passing Biden's stimulus package by early March. Here's the Democratic calendar for approving coronavirus relief.

Pelosi is doubling down on passing Biden's stimulus package by early March. Here's the Democratic calendar for approving coronavirus relief.
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  • Democrats are racing to enact a stimulus plan by early March before federal jobless benefits expire.
  • House committees are marking it up over two weeks, and Democrats aim to enact it before March 14.
  • Here's an approximate Democratic stimulus calendar, based on statements from public officials.

Democrats are attempting to stick to a swift timeline for President Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion rescue package, which they hope to have passed by early March to head off a lapse in federal benefits for unemployed Americans.

But the timeline sets up a very slim margin of error.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has doubled down on pushing the package through by early March, before enhanced unemployment insurance lapses. A new report from the left-leaning Century Foundation indicated that 11.4 million people might lose all their jobless aid if Congress doesn't renew the programs before then.

She said numerous House committees were "moving expeditiously" to finalize the legislative details for Biden's plan.

"They're moving forth to crush the virus," she said at her weekly press conference on Thursday.


Here's the apparent Democratic calendar for coronavirus relief, based on statements from public officials:

  • February 8 to 12: Nine House committees draft the stimulus bill in markup sessions.
  • February 15 to 19: The House Budget Committee finalizes the legislation, and the Rules Committee sets the terms for floor debate.
  • February 22 to 26: The House votes on the relief bill, sending it to the Senate.
  • Before March 14: The Senate passes the stimulus legislation, forwarding it to Biden's desk for his signature.

Rep. Steny Hoyer told reporters recently that Democrats were aiming for a floor vote during the week of February 22. Democrats are trying to pass the bill before March 14, when federal unemployment programs expire.

But the timeline could get more complicated once the bill reaches the Senate. Democrats are using a legislative maneuver called reconciliation, and it has very strict guidelines. Using the procedure allows Democrats to ditch Republicans and pass the relief plan with a simple majority of 51 votes instead of the 60 typically needed to break a filibuster.

Any Democratic senator could object to any element of the relief legislation - and suddenly imperil its quick passage. Any coronavirus infections among senators could derail the plan as well. Democrats control the evenly divided Senate because Vice President Kamala Harris can break ties.

Biden's proposal includes $1,400 stimulus checks, $400 federal unemployment benefits through September, a bigger child tax credit, and assistance to state and local governments, among other provisions. It also includes a $15 minimum wage phased in over five years.


The wage hike is likely to come under greater scrutiny in the coming weeks, and it has generated a rift between centrist Democrats and the rest of the Senate Democrats. It is uncertain whether it will clear the stringent budgetary rules governing reconciliation; the Senate parliamentarian will determine whether it can be included.

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