• January 28, 2023

Senate vote-a-rama stalls for nearly 6 hours

Voting on amendments to President Joe Biden’s $ 1.9 trillion stimulus plan was suspended in the US Senate for nearly six hours.

The Senators had been voting on a separate amendment to the minimum wage when that vote was kept open as the Democrats began to negotiate behind closed doors on unemployment insurance issues and an upcoming amendment vote on it.

Both Democrats and Republicans are expected to table amendments on unemployment that have become a contentious issue for moderates like Senator Joe Manchin, DW.V., on both sides of the political corridor.

Democrats were sure they had reached an agreement under their party on an amendment to extend the $ 300 weekly benefit through September. The original bill, which the House passed last week, increased the weekly amount to $ 400 but ended the benefit in August.

However, Senator Rob Portman, R-Ohio is offering a similar change for $ 300 that is slated to run through July 18.

His proposal led Manchin and possibly other moderates to support the democratic change.

“Right now, I feel bad for Joe Manchin,” said John Thune, RS.D. “I hope the Geneva Convention applies to him.”

– Savannah Behrmann

Democrats Reach Agreement on Universal Income Change

Senate Democrats agreed to keep federal unemployment benefits at $ 300 a week through September after a Democratic adviser increased President Joe Biden’s COVID-19 stimulus package to $ 400, according to the president.

Senator Tom Carper, D-Del., Is expected to introduce an amendment to the $ 1.9 trillion legislation on Friday as the Democratically controlled Senate considers changes to the measure. His proposal will extend the $ 300 weekly benefit through September. The original bill, passed in the House last week, increased the weekly amount to $ 400 but ended the benefit in August.

The additional unemployment benefit of currently $ 300 was a controversial point in the bill. Republicans spoke out against the Democrats’ plans to extend and increase the payment amount. Congress faces a countdown to get the stimulus package to Biden by mid-March, when Americans lose the current weekly rise in federal unemployment.

Both progressive and moderate Democrats who vote for the amendment come after moderate Republicans like Senator Mitt Romney, R-Utah, told reporters Thursday that he thought “there would be Republicans who would agree to cut the number . “

Senate Finance Chairman Ron Wyden, D-Ore., Who urged the benefits to be extended through September, told reporters, “In an environment like this where literally every single Democrat is key, the response has been positive so far. “

The first $ 10,200 of Unemployment Benefit is non-taxable for the first time to avoid year-end surprise bills for the unemployed. The deal also extends the tax rules on excessive business loss restrictions for an additional year through 2026.

– Savannah Behrmann and Nicholas Wu

The Senators begin the final hours of the stimulus package debate as the Senate moves towards final passage of the bill

The Senate began its final hour of debate on President Joe Biden’s $ 1.9 trillion stimulus plan despite Republicans opposed its final passage.

“We will work through and finalize this bill, however long it takes,” swore Chuck Schumer, Senate majority leader, and warned of a lengthy change process that should begin on Friday lunchtime.

Senate Minority Chairman Mitch McConnell slammed the bill as an “ideological shopping spree full of non-COVID-related costs”.

Senate progress on the bill slowed Thursday after Senator Ron Johnson, R-Wis., Forced a read of the entire 628-page bill. The whole process lasted almost 11 hours and didn’t end until the early hours of Friday morning.

“I can’t imagine anyone having a good time,” said Schumer, thanking the Senate staff and calling them the “unsung heroes” of the evening.

“As for our friend from Wisconsin, I hope he enjoyed his Thursday night,” he said of Johnson.

The Senate was originally supposed to start a 20-hour debate on the bill on Friday, but at the end of Thursday’s session, Senator Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., Asked the Chamber to shorten the debate to three hours. After there were only a few Republicans in the chamber shortly after 2 a.m.CET on Friday, Van Hollen succeeded.

Johnson said he was still in the chamber at the end of the session, aware of the Democrats’ plan to change the debate time.

“I held out to the end to make sure they weren’t trying to pull a quick one on us,” said Johnson.

Once the debate on the bill is over, the Senators are expected to begin a period during which any member can introduce non-debatable changes to the legislation. Republicans are planning a flood of votes known as “Vote-a-Rama” during the reporting period on controversial issues such as abortion, reopening schools and immigration.

– Nicholas Wu

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-NY, thanked Senate clerks for over 10 hours of reading the COVID-19 bill.

GOP plans to redesign the legislation

A final vote in the Senate may not take place until late Friday or over the weekend COVID rescue package This includes $ 1,400 in payments, expands unemployment benefits, and expands vaccine distribution as Republicans continue to put roadblocks to delay President Joe Biden’s $ 1.9 trillion US bailout plan.

Debate on the bill should begin Thursday after Vice President Kamala Harris in her role as Senate President broke a 50:50 tie to move the bill forward.

But Senator Ron Johnson, R-Wis., Who opposes the measure, made the rare request that Senate officials Read each word of the entire 628-page calculation. That’s extra hours for the process.

The reading ended overnight, so the senators will debate for three hours, followed by a time for senators to propose and vote on amendments to the bill. The Senate will meet again on Friday at 9:00 a.m.

Then GOP senators plan a proposal a blizzard of amendments – including cuts to Amtrak and shifting funds from family planning to youth suicide prevention – to change some aspects of the bill.

It is unlikely that a single Republican in the evenly divided Senate will vote for the aid package, no matter how it is reformed. They don’t just go against regulations Providing US $ 350 billion to states and municipalities, expanded unemployment benefits and rental benefits, but also the size of the package.

More:Democrats want Biden’s COVID-19 relief bill to send $ 350 billion to cities and states, but Republicans see it as wasteful

More:How Much Money Will Your State Get When Biden’s COVID-19 Relief Bill Is Passed?

“Many of our amendments are unlikely to be supported by Democrats, so I think it is very unlikely that Republicans will support the final bill,” Senator Mitt Romney, R-Utah, told reporters Thursday.

With the expected Senate passing, he must return to the house for approval before going to Biden’s desk for signature.

Biden and Democratic leaders are pushing for the bill to be passed before March 14, when unemployment benefits approved under a previous relief bill expire.

– Ledyard King

Jack

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