Senate Passes $1.9 trillion COVID Relief Resolution

The Senate passed a budget resolution early Friday morning that sets up passage for President Biden‘s $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief proposal without any Republican votes.

The 51-50 vote, with Vice President Kamala Harris breaking the tie, came after an all-night marathon “vote-a-rama.” The “vote-a-rama” included 41 votes with dozens of amendments considered.

A federal minimum wage increase to $15 an hour, a major component of the Biden plan, was rejected in a voice vote, but the increase could be restored when the final measure is hashed out.

Many of the amendments introduced by Republicans failed. However, some received bipartisan support, such as an amendment to boost restaurant support. An amendment that would prevent “upper-income citizens” from receiving direct stimulus payments also received support from both Democrats and Republicans.

Passing a budget resolution is part of a process known as reconciliation, which allows legislation to pass in the Senate with only a simple majority instead of the typical 60-vote threshold.

The House must now pass the same version of the budget measure before lawmakers can begin writing the final relief package. That vote may come later Friday.


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