House of Representatives prepare to vote on next COVID relief bill

The House of Representatives is preparing to vote on the next COVID-19 relief bill as soon as Friday. From there, the bill will move to the Senate where President Biden's plan to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour is in jeopardy of being in the final bill. CBS News reporter Sarah Ewall-Wice joins CBSN's Elaine Quijano to discuss what options supporters have if the minimum wage increase is not included in the bill.

Video Transcript

ELAINE QUIJANO: On March 14, which is just about three weeks away, supplemental unemployment benefits will run out for millions of Americans. Where do negotiations on the next COVID relief bill stand? And when could it be on the President's desk, ready to sign?

SARAH EWALL-WICE: Well, the goal is to have it ready to sign on the President's desk before those provisions run out. That's about three weeks from now. Today, it did take a step forward in the House Budget Committee where lawmakers approved it. It now heads to the Rules Committee in the House. And then Speaker Pelosi said she would like to see a House vote on this by the end of the week. It is significant that today's vote happened along party lines. 19 Democrats voted to move the bill forward.

16 voted against it, including one Democrat who actually clarified afterward. His office told me that he accidentally voted against it. Obviously, all of these hearings are happening virtually. So that would have actually been a 20 to 15 vote, it appears, had that mistake not occurred. But it does remain to be seen whether they can get any Republican support moving forward, once it gets to the Senate. And then the President obviously wants to sign that before the expiration of some of those benefits, March 14.

ELAINE QUIJANO: Well, raising the minimum wage has been a big sticking point with President Biden's relief plan, even among some Democrats. So what are the chances it ends up in the final version of this bill?

SARAH EWALL-WICE: Well, it will be in the House version of the bill, as it moves forward. That actually was something that Republican lawmakers debating the bill today in the House did raise questions about. They said it doesn't belong there. They also are worried about how would it impact small businesses specifically? So there was a lot of fire on that provision.

Of course, we still do not know whether it will be included in the Senate version of the bill. We're waiting for a ruling by the Senate parliamentarian this week on whether that can be included under their rules. Senator Bernie Sanders was asked today about it. He says he's still confident in passing a $15 minimum wage, but it's unclear whether it will have the support even if it is included from senators, including Democrats.

Specifically, Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema saying they don't think it belongs in a COVID relief bill. It'll be interesting to see whether there are some gives and takes in the Senate debate about the bill and whether they can get them on board by offering other incentives or if it'll be pulled back depending on what they think can pass.

ELAINE QUIJANO: All right, we know you'll continue to watch it. Sarah Ewall-Wice for us. Sarah, thank you very much.