By Tiffany Williams –
As most Worcester residents are struggling and have been since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, relief could be on the way.
On Friday on Capitol Hill, the House will vote on President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion Covid-19 relief package, just days after the U.S. crossed 500,000 deaths from the coronavirus.
The bill, which is expected to pass the Democratic-controlled House includes $1,400 direct payments, a $400-a-week federal unemployment bonus, a per-child allowance of up to $3,600 for one year and billions of dollars to distribute the coronavirus vaccines and to assist schools and local governments.
As you go around Massachusetts you can see the the economy is still reeling from widespread shutdowns and in Worcester, Worcesterites are wait their turns to be vaccinated.
The bill in the house does face opposition from congressional Republicans but recent polls show that the bill is popular with most Americans, earning 66 percent support in an Economist/YouGov study and 76 percent support in a Morning Consult/Politico survey.
While most Republicans are expected not to vote for this bill, some Republicans are are expected to cross party lines and vote for the Bill but with a Democratic majority in the house, this bill looks like it will pass on a party-line vote if.
What does this bill mean for Worcesterites? It means that Worcesterites who make up to $75,000 a year, would be sent $1,400. This also includes payments to married couples making $150,000.
Payments would gradually decrease for those who make more, zeroing out at $100,000 for individuals and $200,000 for couples.
What’s also in this bill, is a federal minimum wage hike from $7.25 to $15 per hour and would be phased in over four years.
The federal minimum wage hike that is in the house bill, again is expected to pass the house on Friday however the federal minimum wage hike has already been shutdown by the Senate in a ruling on Thursday that it violates the Senate’s rules for legislation that can pass with a simple majority.