House passes budget resolution, paving way for Biden’s COVID relief plan

The House on Friday approved the Senate-amended budget resolution, setting in place the process to pass President Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief plan without the need for GOP support.

The bill passed 219-209.

Rep. Jared Golden (Maine) was the only Democrat to join every Republican in voting against the measure. Golden cited a preference for passing a standalone vaccine bill immediately instead of embarking on the lengthier reconciliation process.


“Our work to crush the coronavirus and deliver relief to the American people is urgent and of the highest priority,” Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said in a letter to Democrats ahead of the vote. “With this budget resolution, we have taken a giant step to save lives and livelihoods.”

The budget resolution’s adoption kicks off a process called reconciliation, which can pass the Senate with a simple majority, bypassing a possible GOP filibuster. The resolution includes instructions for Congress’s authorizing committees to write legislation that will affect federal finances.

Those instructions followed the contours of Biden’s proposal, which includes $1,400 stimulus checks, extended emergency unemployment benefits, funds for vaccine distribution and coronavirus testing, aid to state and local governments and increases to child tax credits and earned income tax credits, among other things.