Democrats in the Senate successfully voted to pass President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion Covid relief package, entitled the “American Rescue Plan,” by a vote of 50-49.
After enduring several days of delay while Republicans forced the reading of the bill and Democrats scrambled to get West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin on board, then fought their way through dozens of amendments during the “vote-a-rama,” the Senate finally passed the bill on Saturday along a strict party-line vote.
Democrats reached a deal with Senator Manchin after 9 hours of delay, agreeing to a September 6 end date for extra unemployment payments.
In its final form, the deal extends the $300 weekly benefit to Sept. 6, instead of through the end of September as proposed Friday morning, and makes tax relief available only to those with household incomes below $150,000.
The House version of the bill featured a higher $400 benefit that would have run through the end of August.
Vice President Kamala Harris was not needed to break a tie because Alaska Senator Dan Sullivan was absent due to a family emergency.
The measure will now go back to the House of Representatives for final passage, after which, if all goes well, it will reach President Biden’s desk for his signature and become law.
Watch the passage above.
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