The United States on Saturday inched towards the passing of the $1.9 trillion Covid-19 relief plan. The session that started on Friday involved two dozen votes and hours of closed-door negotiations.
Democrats Battle For Passage Of $1.9 Trillion Covid-19 Relief Bill
Democrats narrowly controlled the chamber and they also agreed to scale back the aid to millions of people who lost jobs in the crisis. The Friday night turned to Saturday morning but they stuck together to modify the bill.
As per the congressional budget office, this will be the largest stimulus package ever.
If the bill by Democrats will become law, Washington will have to provide $6 trillion in energy assistance over the past year to battle the pandemic and to stabilize the economy.
As per a statement by Senate majority Leader Chuck Schumer, the lawmakers were nearing the end of the amendment process before voting over the bill.
The Republicans are united in opposition. Thus, it is important for Democrats to keep all of their 50 senators on board in the 100-seat chamber for the passage of the bill. In case of tie, Vice President Kamala Harris will get an opportunity to cast the tie-breaking vote.
The Senate has also set the record for the longest single vote in the Modern era. The sitting was for 11 hours and 50 minutes. The Democrats also negotiated a compromise on unemployment benefits to satisfy the centrists like Senator Joe Manchin who was worried that the massive relief package might overheat the economy.
With this, the senators started working through the proposals to modify the bill. The Democrats voted down the Republican to modify how the money will be distributed to schools, state governments and the transit system.
Earlier on Saturday morning, Democrats also repelled Senator Tom Cotton’s attempt to send the behemoth bill back to the committee to rework the part of the US immingration policy related to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Republicans were one vote down as Senator Dan Sullivan has to visit Alaska for a family funeral.
The latest publi9c health crisis in the world has killed more than 521000 people in the US. millions of people are thrown out of work. The pandemic has affected all aspects of life of American people.
The relife package also includes funding for vaccines as well as medical supplies. It includes jobless assistance and will offer new rounds of emergency financial aid to the household, small businesses, and state and local government.
Opinion polls indicate that the bill has broad public support for the package.
Unemployment aid is one of the friction points in the legislation. Democrats have earleus modified it to offer more financial aid to smaller states and cities.
The version of the bill passed by the House of Representative calls for $400 per week in federal jobless benefit starting August 20. The compromise has reduced the aid to $300. President Biden supports the compromise as per a statement by White House.
If the senate will pass the bill, the house will sign off on those changes and then the bill will become law.