$1,400 Stimulus Checks Will Pass the House Next Week, Says Democratic Lawmaker Ted Lieu

Representative Ted Lieu of California has announced that Joe Biden's sprawling stimulus plan, which includes the highly-anticipated $1,400 direct payments, will pass the House next week. His remarks come one day after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi reiterated that Democrats are aiming to pass the $1.9 trillion economic relief plan before the end of February.

House Democrats formally released the full text of Biden's bill on Friday. Apart from the checks, it also includes $350 billion in state and local government relief; an extension of $400 federal unemployment benefits; and additional money for small businesses—as well as money to help schools reopen and COVID-19 vaccine distribution and testing.

"We will pass the American Rescue Plan legislation next week. It's a very good bill. And it's what the American people need during this challenging time," Lieu tweeted on Friday evening, alongside a comprehensive breakdown of the bill.

We will pass the American Rescue Plan legislation next week. It’s a very good bill. And it’s what the American people need during this challenging time. https://t.co/xchZvIeC2L

— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) February 20, 2021

On Thursday, Pelosi said that she hopes for a vote in the lower chamber "sometime at the end of next week," but did not expressly commit to the date. Roughly two weeks ago, Pelosi had said that Congress will "finish our work before the end of February."

Democrats have paved the way for a vote that will allow the plan to pass without amendments to accommodate fiscally conservative Republicans who oppose its price tag. After the measure passes the House, Senate Democrats could then approve it through the budget process called reconciliation.

As it stands, the package is unlikely to draw any support from congressional Republicans who have called on their colleagues from across the political aisle to return to the negotiating table for a bipartisan deal.

"It's clear Democrats have no interest in approaching COVID relief in a timely and targeted fashion and are instead using the reconciliation process to jam through their liberal wish list agenda," said House Minority Whip Steve Scalise's office.

Biden on Friday responded to GOP opposition by expressing willingness to make cuts to the measure, but with Pelosi and Lieu's timeline and mounting pressure from Americans, it's unclear whether there will be time for further discussions.

"I'm grateful that the Senate and the House are moving quickly, and I'm prepared to hear their ideas on how to make the package better and make it cheaper. I'm open to that," the president said at a COVID-19 vaccine production plant.

The bill will need to be signed into law after it passes Congress, and then it will take the IRS about one week to begin processing the checks.

Newsweek reached out to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell for comment.

Ted Lieu in the halls of Congress
Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA) arrives before the fifth day of the Senate Impeachment trials for former President Donald Trump on Capitol Hill on February 13, 2021 in Washington, DC. Stefani Reynolds/Getty