The House passed two separate immigration bills Thursday evening, marking the first time the 117th Congress has voted on the issue under President Joe Biden.
The pair of bills are the first immigration proposals to be voted on since a surge of migrants reached the southern border, resulting in heightened scrutiny on the Biden administration over its handling of what Republicans have labeled a serious crisis.
The House first passed H.R. 6, the American Dream and Promise Act of 2021 (ADPA), with nine Republicans voting with Democrats in favor of the bill. The act would provide a pathway to citizenship for so-called “Dreamers” who were brought to the United States as young children, as well as for Temporary Protected Status recipients and Deferred Enforced Departure beneficiaries. The legislation, sponsored by California Democratic Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard, could give over 4.4 million people a path to permanent status, according to the Migration Policy Institute.
The PRO Act, which passed the U.S. House Tuesday on a largely partisan vote, could eliminate most forms of independent contracting, gig work and freelancing – potentially impacting as many as 59 million freelance workers who represent 36 percent of the total U.S. workforce.
In 2020, the freelance community accounted for $1.2 trillion in earnings, according to a report published by UpWork.
President Joe Biden said Thursday night that he is directing U.S. states to open COVID-19 vaccinations to all American adults by May 1 in an effort to more quickly reopen the country and prop up the staggering U.S. economy.
“To do this we’re going to go from a million shots a day … to 2 million shots a day,” he said.
In most U.S. states currently, only older Americans, front-line workers and those with pre-existing conditions are eligible, though getting scheduled for a first dose has been problematic in many states even for the most at-risk.
The U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday ratified changes the Senate made to a massive $1.9 trillion relief package that critics say contains hundreds of billions of dollars in wasteful spending unrelated to the COVID-19 pandemic.
With the 220-211 vote, almost exclusively along party lines, the measure now goes to President Joe Biden, who said he will sign it. One Democrat – U.S. Rep. Jared Golden of Maine, who also voted against the initial bill – voted against the measure Wednesday. No Republicans voted for it.
The Democratic-controlled U.S. House of Representatives passed the “Equality Act” — a piece of legislation that critics say poses a threat to Christian universities.
The Equality Act seeks to “prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex, gender identity, and sexual orientation” by providing the “full range of remedies available under the Civil Rights Act of 1964.”
Incumbent Elaine Luria (D-VA-02) retained her seat in a battle against Republican candidate Scott Taylor that was similar to 2018.
In the first hour after polls closed, Taylor started out with a 23 point lead in the 17 percent of votes reported. From there on out, Taylor’s lead dwindled. Two hours after polls closed, Taylor was up by 18 points with 36 percent of the votes reported. An hour later, Taylor dropped to lead Luria by 10 points with 48 percent of votes. By 1 in the morning, Luria made her first gain ahead of Taylor, leading by 3 points with 85 percent of the vote.