Over the weekend, the Senate passed one of the most ambitious pieces of legislation in American history: Democrats’ pandemic relief bill, also called the American Rescue Plan (ARP). All indications are the House will whisk the Senate’s version through in a final vote Tuesday, and President Biden will sign it by the end of the week. Despite some unnecessary compromises and walkbacks, the vast majority of the plan went untouched in the Senate debate. Many important measures weren’t even mentioned at all.
For those who remember what this point in 2009 was like, all this is very confusing. Democrats back then had gigantic majorities in both the House and the Senate, plus an extremely popular new president — but they cheaped out on their response to the financial crisis.