Senate passes President Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief plan

After more than 24 hours of debate, GOP games, obstruction, and nonsense, “the evenly divided Senate voted 50-49 to approve the measure. Republican Sen. Dan Sullivan of Alaska was absent because he was in Alaska for a family funeral.”

What’s in the bill and what’s not:

  • $1,400 direct payments for individuals making up to $75,000 and couples earning up to $150,000. During the Trump error, individuals earning$80,000 and couples earning $160,000, respectively, qualified for direct payments.
  • Unemployment benefits will extend until September 6th, 2021 at the current rate of $300 per week. The first $10,200 of those benefits would be tax-free for households that earn $150,000 or less.

“Suddenly, if you’re on unemployment insurance you don’t have to pay taxes. But if you’re working, you do have to pay taxes. How does that work?” said Portman, who offered the GOP’s more aggressive cuts to benefits.

Wyden responded that the tax forgiveness only included modest relief for jobless Americans, adding of the GOP’s opposition: “The party that claims to want to help workers on their taxes won’t lift a finger.”

  • Increasing the minimum wage to $15 an hour did not happen.
  • $350 billion for cash-strapped cities and states.
  • $130 billion for schools.
  • Other sizable sums for a wide array of programs including food assistance, rental relief and coronavirus vaccine distribution.
  • bevy of aid to lessen businesses’ tax bills, assist Americans in paying for child care and support transit and other infrastructure reforms.
  • Moscow Mitch “accused the Biden administration of trying to ‘jam’ Republicans on the legislation.

“It is my hope that in the end Senate Republicans will unanimously oppose it, just like House Republicans did,” McConnell said to reporters.

And they did…not a single Republican voted for the RELIEF package.

“The Senate has never spent $2 trillion in a more haphazard way, or through a less rigorous process,” said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).

“Voters gave Senate Democrats the slimmest possible majority. Voters picked a president who promised unity and bipartisanship,” he continued, noting Democrats instead had opted to “ram through” their stimulus bill.

The House will need to revote on the final version of the bill before it can be signed into law. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., said in a statement Saturday that the House will vote on an identical measure on Tuesday.

NPR:

The Washington Post:

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