The Senate is negotiating a $1.9 trillion relief bill that was passed by the House of Representatives over the weekend
House Democrats wanted to increase the minimum wage in their version of the bill, but it's not looking like that hike will pass the Senate. The House bill also includes a $1,400 direct check to many Americans, money many San Diegans say they could use.
Emily Follweiller and Nic Olivo are colorists at the Gila Rut Salon in Hillcrest. They say the re-openings and closures of their salon over the past year have made their lives an emotional and financial roller-coaster.
"It's been really hard because we've been shut down three times," Follweiller said Monday. "We were shut down for six months out of the whole year and going back on unemployment. Coming back for me, I didn't get my unemployment for the first three months. and that was really hard to go: three months without having any money coming in."
Olivo was able to get unemployment, too, but he said it was only a fraction of his normal paycheck and that he had to defer many of his bills so that he could make ends meet. He said getting two stimulus checks so far during the pandemic was necessary, and he's hoping he might get another boost soon so he can catch up on many of the bills he hasn't paid.
"I definitely appreciate anything that was given to us by the government to help us out as much as they can," Olivo said. "That will definitely help me catch up on the bills that I wasn't able to pay while we were closed."
The Senate is hoping to pass its version of the bill by the end of this week so that the House can pass theirs by March 14, which is when unemployment-aid programs are set to expire. The House bill also includes $350 billion in aid to state and local governments for vaccine distribution programs.