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Senate takes first step toward passing $1.9 trillion Covid relief bill — here’s what happens next

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Senate takes first step toward passing $1.9 trillion Covid relief bill — here’s what happens next

The Senate took its first fundamental step Thursday toward passing Democrats’ $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package as lawmakers attempt to beat a time limit to discontinuance unemployment relief from expiring.

The chamber voted to launch up debate on the rescue package, atmosphere the stage for its approval as quickly as this weekend. Vice President Kamala Harris had to ruin a 50-50 tie after a occasion-line vote within the evenly divided Senate.

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A nerve-racking direction of awaits, as Senate Republicans who oppose extra stimulus spending private tools at their disposal to delay a closing vote on the 628-page bill by hours and even days.

  • The procedural vote starts up to 20 hours of debate on the opinion. Senators would possibly per chance per chance no longer use all of that time.
  • Debate will no longer at this time launch up. Republican Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin compelled Senate clerks to read the wide laws out loud, that can seize finally plenty of hours. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., acknowledged the dawdle would “merely delay the inevitable.”
  • After the dialogue period ends, the Senate will defend votes on an indefinite collection of amendments to the bill as segment of the budget reconciliation direction of that enables laws to pass with a straightforward majority. Republicans are anticipated to use amendments to power Democrats into politically thorny votes and disappear out the direction of.

“Regardless of how long it takes, the Senate is going to discontinuance in session to connect the bill this week,” Schumer acknowledged on Thursday.

Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wisc., participates in a Senate Fatherland Safety and Governmental Affairs and Senate Principles and Administration committees joint listening to on Capitol Hill, Washington, February 23, 2021, to peep the January sixth attack on the Capitol.

Erin Scott | Pool | Reuters

After Senate passage of the opinion, the Residence plans to approve it by the guts of next week. Democrats procedure to derive the laws to President Joe Biden’s desk old to March 14, when a $300 per week unemployment insurance coverage enhance and programs extending benefits to millions extra of us formally expire.

Democrats would possibly per chance per chance pass the bill on their very bag within the Senate, with Harris breaking a tie.

Republicans private criticized the scope of the spending as Covid-19 vaccinations ramp up and the nation gets closer to reopening within the impending months.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., acknowledged Thursday that his declare with the opinion is “how in uncomfortable health-suited this bill is to what People need factual now.”

Democrats private acknowledged the proposal will both enhance People struggling to afford housing and food after almost just a few 365 days of business restrictions and discontinuance future economic wretchedness because the nation starts to resume unheard of actions. The occasion, which has to withhold every member on board to derive the bill through the Senate, discussed quite loads of closing-minute adjustments to assuage concerns.

Democrats’ opinion puts a $400 per week unemployment supplement in teach through Aug. 29 and extends programs making extra of us eligible for jobless benefits through the identical date. Some Democratic senators had pushed to either withhold the advantages in teach for a long timeframe or minimize the additional charge amount to $300 a week.

To opt the give a establish to of moderate Democrats, occasion leaders additionally agreed to limit the gathering of of us who will derive inform payments of up to $1,400. Unique profits caps would possibly per chance per chance indicate finally 8 million fewer of us would derive checks than under the bill handed by the Residence on Saturday.

The Senate additionally removed a Residence-handed provision to verify the federal minimal wage to $15 per hour by 2025. The chamber’s parliamentarian dominated lawmakers would possibly per chance per chance no longer plan so under budget reconciliation.

Other adjustments to the Residence bill embody a selection of the employee retention tax credit, a establish to COBRA well being-insurance coverage subsidies, and additional funding for excessive infrastructure and rural well being care, in step with NBC News.

Democrats regarded as a trade to compose particular extra of the pool of $350 billion in teach, native and tribal authorities relief went to puny states.

The laws additionally puts $20 billion into Covid-19 vaccine distribution, expands the infant tax credit for one 365 days and entails billions of bucks extra in rent and utility assistance.

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Senate takes first step toward passing $1.9 trillion Covid relief bill — here’s what happens next