Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Senate forges ahead with $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package after marathon night of voting

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The Senate early Friday morning moved forward with a $1.9 trillion Covid relief package after a marathon voting session on resolutions attached to the bill.

The reconciliation procedure used by Democrats to pass President Biden’s plan allowed for an unlimited amount of resolutions to be considered in the Senate.

One of the amendments proposed by Republicans would prevent Congress from raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour during the pandemic, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The Senate approved the amendment but as Sen. Bernie Sanders explained, it was not his intention to sneak that proposal in.

“I will do everything that I can to make sure a $15 an hour minimum wage is included in this reconciliation bill, but there appears to be some misunderstanding,” Sanders said, according to the Journal.

“It was never my intention to raise the minimum wage immediately and during the pandemic.”

Another amendment that sought “to ensure upper-income taxpayers are not eligible” for the $1,400 payments in the plan. The vote on that measure passed by a tally of 99-1. 

The reconciliation process only requires a majority vote in the Senate to pass the bill. The chamber is currently split 50-50 with Vice President Kamala Harris presiding as the tie-breaking vote.

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