House Democrats late Friday released the text of their $1.9 trillion Wuhan coronavirus relief bill. While some of the bill addresses actual challenges Americans face, there are a handful of items that are, arguably, not related to the pandemic.
The 591-page document includes another round of stimulus checks. Individuals making less than $75,000 will receive a $1,400 check. Couples earning less than $150,000 will receive a combined $2,800. As an individual or couple's income increases, their stimulus amount decreases.
Of the $1.9 trillion, $350 billion will go towards states and local governments. Unemployment benefits will provide Americans with $400 a week on top of their state-issued benefits.
Under this bill, the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) is replenished with $7 billion in additional funding. The Emergency Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program will also receive $15 billion.
In addition, the bill ups the child tax credit to $3,600 for children six and under. That credit drops to $3,000 for kids ages seven to 17.
There are, however, a number of questionable liberal wishlist items in the bill. If passed and signed into law, the federal minimum wage – which currently sits at $7.25-an-hour – would increase to $15-an-hour over the next five years.
First up: increasing the federal minimum wage to $15/hour. It would go up increasing over a five-year period. pic.twitter.com/hETEJfGGPY— Beth Baumann (@eb454) February 20, 2021
Democrats set aside $50 million for "family planning." As of now, the Hyde Amendment is in place, which bars taxpayer funds from being used for abortion. This, however, could set the stage for the repeal of the Hyde Amendment down the road. If this bill is passed and Congress later repeals Hyde, money that was funded in this relief bill could theoretically be used for abortion.
Funding for "family planning" which they tie into the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. 300). When you pull up PHSA you will see abortion mentioned. But 300a-6 is Hyde. This could be an attempt to fund the entire "family planning section" and reverse Hyde later. pic.twitter.com/fzQyyQJQo4— Beth Baumann (@eb454) February 20, 2021
Although higher education has teetered because of the virus, Howard University is the only higher education facility that would be given money to recoup funds lost during the pandemic. Gallaudet University is listed in the bill, but it's a specialized university for students who are hard of hearing.
It is important to note that Vice President Kamala Harris is an alumna of Howard University, which is an unlikely coincidence.
Interesting. Howard University (Harris' alma mater) is on the list to receive $35 million to recoup money lost because of COVID. pic.twitter.com/Bdhz4BA9b7— Beth Baumann (@eb454) February 20, 2021
Another $135 million would be allocated for the arts and humanities, likely museums that received funding during the CARES ACT.
$135 million to the arts and humanities. pic.twitter.com/381s8LvB4A— Beth Baumann (@eb454) February 20, 2021
And, for whatever reason, Democrats thought it was important to throw money at "preserving" Native American languages in a bill aimed at helping the American people.
$10 million to preserve Native American languages. pic.twitter.com/QFyYKq3CJx— Beth Baumann (@eb454) February 20, 2021
These are just some of the liberal wish list items Democrats are hoping to push through. It wouldn't be surprising if amendments are added, for things like saving the United States Postal Service or saving endangered species (something they did in the CARES Act).