NBC10 is one of dozens of news organizations producing BROKE in Philly, a collaborative reporting project on solutions to poverty and the city’s push toward economic justice. Follow us at @BrokeInPhilly.
Philadelphia will receive more than $1.3 billion from the COVID relief package if it passes as it currently is proposed, according to a Philadelphia congressman’s office.
U.S. Rep. Brendan Boyle, a Democrat who represents parts of Northeast Philadelphia and Montgomery County and serves as vice chair of the House Budget Committee, told reporters Tuesday that "we’re probably at about the 10 yard line right now, and looking to get it into the endzone very shortly.”
The House could vote on the legislation later this week, sending it to the Senate.
Boyle’s office released data for how much the Philadelphia region will get from different parts of the bill, including $1.1 billion to Pennsylvania for child care funding, $115 million for Philadelphia International Airport and $914 million for transit funding.
A SEPTA spokesperson told NBC10 the agency would have to review the final language but that if it is similar to previous bills, SEPTA would be able to use its portion of the federal funding for things like labor, power and fuel that are usually paid from revenue from fares.
U.S. Rep. Dwight Evans, a Democrat who represents parts of Philadelphia, previously tweeted that Philadelphia schools would receive another $1.8 billion.
The relief bill also includes $1,400 direct payments that would go to individuals making up to $75,000 and married couples filing jointly making up to $150,000, plus the same amount for each child or dependent. The checks would phase out more quickly than in previous rounds, Boyle said, with individuals making $100,000 and above, and couples making $200,000 and above, not receiving any direct payment.
The House version of the American Rescue Plan, the Biden administration’s first big legislative endeavor, is expected to contain a proposal to raise the minimum wage to $15/hour over several years. But the measure is facing opposition in the Senate, where Democrats hold a slim one-vote margin, including the vote of Vice President Kamala Harris, who breaks a 50-50 tie.
“Right now, it is very tenuous as to whether that specific aspect will survive the Senate,” Boyle said.
On Tuesday, Republican Senators Tom Cotton, of Arkansas, and Mitt Romney, of Utah, proposed boosting the minimum wage to $10/hour.
Senator Joe Manchin, a Democrat from West Virginia, has suggested an increase to $11 would be more likely to pass than the $15 proposal.
It also remains unclear whether the Senate parliamentarian will rule the minimum wage issue can be included in the relief package, which Democrats are trying to pass through a process called reconciliation that requires only a simple majority instead of a 60-vote threshold.