With House voting on relief bill, Dems mull wage plan rescue

WASHINGTON (AP) — A $1.9 trillion package aimed at helping the country rebuild from the pandemic seemed headed toward House passage Friday, even as Democrats searched for a way to revive their derailed drive to boost the minimum wage.

A virtual party-line House vote was expected on the COVID-19 relief measure, which embodies President Joe Biden's push to flush cash to individuals, businesses, and cities. The White House issued a statement reinforcing its support for the new president's paramount initial goal.

“The bill would allow the administration to execute its plan to change the course of the COVID-19 pandemic," it said. “And it would provide Americans and their communities an economic bridge through the crisis."

Republicans have lined up against the plan, calling it an overpriced and wasteful attempt to help Democratic allies like labor unions and Democratic-run states.

The bill is “a partisan circus” designed to “quickly notch some wins for the president's buddies,” said Rep. Jason Smith, R-Mo., top Republican on the House Budget Committee.