WASHINGTON — As Democrats on the House Budget Committee approved the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 which would provide $1.9 trillion in COVID relief to individuals and businesses, the National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association is letting its priorities be known.
Among many provisions, the legislation would increase supplemental unemployment insurance to $400 per week through August, raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2025, and include funding for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and vaccine distribution. While the bill is expected to pass the House, the Senate’s 50-50 split among Democrats and Republicans means that Democrats will likely have to amend the final bill to gain the support of all 50 of their senators.
Approval by the Budget Committee now paves the way for the bill to receive a vote on the House floor later this week. NLBMDA has sent letters to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Senate Budget Committee Chairman Bernie Sanders (I-VT), and Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Krysten Sinema (D-AZ) which address NLBMDA’s concerns regarding the House bill and provides recommendations on how to improve the bill in the Senate. The letters focus on key NLBMDA priority areas such as employer liability protections, supplemental unemployment insurance, the federal minimum wage and the PPP.
While Sens. Schumer and Sanders are leading the budget reconciliation process in the Senate, both Sen. Manchin and Sen. Sinema have expressed concerns with the House bill and will have a significant influence on what provisions are included in the final COVID relief package.
NLBMDA encourages its members to reach out to their elected officials in Congress in support of NLBMDA’s COVID-19 relief priorities by utilizing the Grassroots Action Center.