HOUSE Speaker Nancy Pelosi has promised Democrats will try to pass the next coronavirus relief bill before the end of the month, when unemployment benefits expire for thousands of Americans.
She told reporters the House hopes to green-light the $1.9 trillion stimulus package "as soon as possible" before the March 14 deadline.
Pelosi said she hopes it will be, "by the end of February so we can send it to the president's desk before unemployment benefits expire."
She began her weekly briefing saying it had been "quite a week", before swiftly moving on to Joe Biden's brainchild, 'The American Rescue Plan'.
Democrats are set to fast-track the scheme through budget reconciliation, a process which does not require any Republican support.
Due to the current 50-50 partisan split in the chamber, a single Democrat voting against it would scupper the bill's approval.
This week, nine House committees began producing their portions of the relief bill, which Pelosi expects to be completed promptly.
The policies will then be combined, before a completed bill is approved by the Rules Committee and then voted on by the House.
New legislation includes a $400-per-week federal unemployment supplement, the expansion of the eligibility criteria to the self-employed and gig workers, as well as an extension of the number of weeks benefits can be claimed.
"Yesterday, the chairman of the Federal Reserve stated that, 'The real unemployment rate is 10 per cent, matching the worst point in the Great Recession," Pelosi explained.
New data shows that more than 20 million Americans are currently receiving unemployment benefits – and experts have estimated up to 11 million people could lose welfare if the policy is not instated.
The new coronavirus relief bill also includes a gradual increase in minimum wage to $15 per hour, in a bid to boost the economy's recovery.
"We're very proud of that. As I've said, 27 million people will get a raise, 70 per cent of them women," she continued.
The proposal was approved as part of the bill by the House Education and Labor Committee this week after being championed by Senate Budget Committee Chair Bernie Sanders.
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It is not clear whether this motion will pass, as Republican's have not been shy about their reluctance to spend large volumes of money after Congress approved a $900 billion stimulus package in December.
The new measures are proposed to last until at least August 29, with President Joe Biden previously discussing an extension until September 30.
Stimulus checks are due to be distributed of up to $1,400 after the bill is passed in Congress.
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