Speed Reads

the coronavirus crisis

Satisfied Biden doesn't think COVID-19 relief bill compromises 'altered the essence' of initial proposal

President Biden was unsurprisingly pleased after the Senate passed his administration's COVID-19 stimulus plan Saturday, but the final version of the bill — which will be up for one more House vote next Tuesday before it reaches Biden's desk — looks a little different than the initial proposal. There's a lower cap on direct payment eligibility, and $300 weekly jobless benefits, rather than $400. Plus, a gradual minimum wake hike is absent. Biden, though, told reporters Saturday that he doesn't think those compromises "fundamentally altered the essence of what I put in the bill in the first place."

The president said he also doesn't believe congressional progressives are "frustrated" with scaling back parts of the bill, pointing out that Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) called the plan "the most significant piece of legislation to benefit working people in the modern history of this country." Biden didn't go into detail about why he's ok with all of the changes, but he did argue that the smaller weekly unemployment payments even out because they were extended further into the year. Tim O'Donnell