With a vote between 50 and 49, the Senate will pass the revised version of the stimulus package and will send it back to House for final approval.
The United States Senate narrowly passed an amended version of President Joe Biden’s COVID-19 Economic Stimulus Bill worth $ 1.9 trillion and sent the legislation back to the US House of Representatives for final approval.
In a session that began around the clock on Friday, U.S. lawmakers worked through a number of amendments on Saturday morning before passing the legislation by 50-49 votes.
Republican and Democratic senators had argued over how long the improved unemployment benefits should be extended and how much it had to offer during the pandemic that has shaken millions of Americans and ravages the country’s economy.
The bill will be sent back to the House of Representatives for final approval next week. After that, the legislature can send it to Biden for signature.
“We’re telling the American people that aid is on the way,” said Chuck Schumer, Democratic Senate majority leader.
“Our job right now is to help our country move from this stormy present to this hopeful future,” he said.
The law was a top priority for Biden in the early weeks of his presidency, as he had promised to enact a program to fight the growing pandemic and provide financial aid to hard-hit citizens.
Last week, he urged the Democrats to pass the laws quickly, even without Republican support.
The bill provides direct payments of up to $ 1,400 for most Americans, expanded emergency unemployment benefits, and huge spending on COVID-19 vaccines and tests, states and cities, schools and sick industries, and tax breaks to help people with lower income to help families with children and consumers who purchase health insurance.
Republicans had raised concerns about the bill’s high price tag, and some more moderate party members tried in January to get Biden to cut the legislation – a request that was ultimately rejected.
“The Senate has never spent $ 2 trillion in a more arbitrary manner,” said Mitch McConnell, chairman of the Senate minority.
“Your number one priority wasn’t the pandemic. It was her wish-list in Washington, “said McConnell, referring to Democrats.