Vice President Kamala Harris was the tiebreaking vote of 51-50 on the measure after the all-night Senate session.
WASHINGTON — The Senate early Friday authorised a price range decision that is a key step towards fast-track passage of President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus reduction plan with out assist from Republicans. Vice President Kamala Harris was within the chair to forged the tie-breaking vote, her first.
Democrats within the chamber applauded after Harris introduced the 51-50 vote at round 5:30 a.m. The motion got here after a grueling all-night session, the place senators voted on amendments that would outline the contours of the eventual COVID-19 support invoice.
The price range now returns to the Home, the place it should be authorised once more as a result of modifications made by the Senate. The ultimate passage will unlock the following section within the drafting of the virus reduction invoice, with the work divided amongst a number of congressional committees.
Senate Majority Chief Chuck Schumer D-N.Y., known as the passage of the decision the “first huge step to placing our nation again on the highway to restoration.”
By shifting on a quick monitor, the aim for Democrats is to have COVID reduction authorised by March, when further unemployment help and different pandemic support expires. It’s an aggressive timeline that can take a look at the flexibility of the brand new administration and Congress to ship.
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Biden, who has been assembly with lawmakers in latest days to debate the bundle, will discuss Friday on the White Home with the Home committee chairs who will likely be assembling the invoice underneath the price range course of often called “reconciliation.”
The marathon session introduced take a look at votes on a number of Democratic priorities, together with a $15 minimal wage. The Senate by voice vote adopted an modification from Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, against elevating the wage through the pandemic. Ernst stated a wage hike at the moment could be “devastating” for small companies.
Not one of the amendments to the price range are binding on Democrats as they draft their COVID plan, however passage of a wage improve may show tough. Even when a $15 wage can get previous procedural challenges within the ultimate invoice, passage would require the assist of each Democrat within the 50-50 Senate, which might be a tall order.
Sen. Bernie Sanders, a vocal proponent of the wage improve, vowed to press forward. “We have to finish the disaster of hunger wages,” he stated.
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