US Senate poised for voting marathon over $1.9T stimulus invoice | Enterprise and Financial system Information
The United States Senate headed for a voting marathon on Friday for the Democrats’ $ 1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill after suffering an extraordinary half-day raid from a Republican enemy with the highest legislative priority of President Joe Biden was enforced.
The chamber planned to vote on a mountain of amendments around noon, mostly from GOP opponents and practically all that should be rejected. This would get the Senate on their way to approve its revised version of the massive measure, likely over the weekend, and send it back to the House so it could forward the final package to Biden for signature.
Shortly after the Senate passed the legislation Thursday, Senator Ron Johnson, a Republican from Wisconsin, forced the chamber’s staff to read the entire 628-page measure. The grueling task lasted 10 hours and 44 minutes and ended shortly after 2 a.m. (7:00 a.m. GMT). Johnson took turns sitting at his desk, pacing the mostly empty room.
Democratic leaders made more than a dozen late additions to their package on Thursday. This reflected the need to cement the unanimous support of all senators as well as the tie of Vice President Kamala Harris to succeed in the precariously divided 50:50 chamber.
The Senate’s 51:50 vote to begin the debate on the package, with Harris pushing the Democrats over the top, underscored how they navigated the package through Congress with virtually no margin for error. In the House, their majority is a thin 10 votes.
The bill, which aims to fight the coronavirus and bring the volatile economy back to health, will allow most Americans to make direct payments of up to $ 1,400. There is also money for COVID-19 vaccines and tests, aid to state and local governments, aid to schools and the aviation industry, tax breaks for low-income earners and families with children, and subsidies for health insurance.
“We won’t be shy about a major challenge,” said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, a New York Democrat.
The new regulations provided points that appeal to all types of Democrats. Progressives received money for feeding programs, government subsidies for health care for workers who lose their jobs, tax-free student loans, and money for public broadcasting and consumer protection investigations.
Moderate won funding for rural health care, the language that ensures minimum amounts for smaller states, and a ban on states that receive aid by using the gusts of wind to cut taxes. And for everyone there was money for infrastructure, cultural institutions, start-ups and extracurricular programs.
Mitch McConnell, a Republican from Kentucky, leaves a Republican lunch on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, USA [File: J. Scott Applewhite/AP Photo]Even with the late revisions, there was a good chance lawmakers would do another and vote to roll back the weekly emergency unemployment benefits from $ 400 to $ 300.
This possible change could also extend these emergency payments for another month until September. It was described by aides and a lobbyist speaking on condition of anonymity to describe internal conversations.
The leaders of Biden and the Senate agreed on Wednesday to maintain the $ 400 weekly unemployment benefit contained in the relief bill approved by Parliament on Saturday. The cut to $ 300 – which would likely come when the Senate begins a “vote” on numerous amendments later this week – seemed to reflect the need to secure the support of moderate Democrats.
House spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi, a California Democrat, was charged with keeping the numerous progressives in her chamber on board. The Liberals already suffered a blow when their top priority – an increase in the federal minimum wage to $ 15 an hour, which was included in the House of Representatives package – was removed from the Senate bill for violating Chamber rules and lacking support from the moderates has been.
In another deal that satisfied the moderates, Biden and the Senate Democrats agreed on Wednesday to tighten the eligibility for direct controls on individuals. The new provision will completely abolish $ 1,400 payments for individuals earning $ 80,000 or more and couples earning $ 160,000, well below the original limits.
“I hope you don’t do too much with it,” Democrat Jim McGovern, a Massachusetts Democrat, said in an interview with the Senate. “If you do that there might be some problems.”
Congress wants to send the bill to Biden before March 14, when an earlier round of emergency benefits for people made unemployed by the pandemic expires.
President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris meet with government officials in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC, USA [File: Andrew Harnik/Reuters]Johnson told reporters he was forcing the bill to “shed light on this abusive and obscene amount of money”. Schumer said Johnson would “get little more than a few sore throats for Senate officials.”
When asked about GOP delays, Biden told reporters that he had spoken to Republican lawmakers, adding, “We’re keeping everyone posted.” Biden met with Republican senators last month who were proposing a plan one-third the size of the Democratic proposal, and there has been no sign of it since serious talks.
Johnson’s move hinted at a bigger GOP argument: Democrats slammed an overpriced bill without considering the growing number of vaccinations and other signs suggesting the country’s pandemic is gradually easing.
“Instead of going into a dark tunnel, we’re going to speed it up,” said Mitch McConnell, a Republican from Kentucky.
The economic recovery began to stall late last year as the virus rose, resulting in a lack of attitudes in recent months. Employers created just 49,000 jobs in January and cut 227,000 jobs in December. Economists estimate the February employment report released on Friday will see gains of 175,000, which is nowhere near enough to quickly restore the nearly 10 million jobs lost in the pandemic-induced recession.
The non-partisan budget bureau of Congress estimates that economic growth this year will exceed four percent without Biden’s bailout. Republicans cite the economy is pointing upwards as evidence, but Democrats say that a strong economic stimulus is still needed to prevent a relapse.
“It is a crisis that we are still very concerned about, and it is deadly, deadly serious,” said Schumer.