The Senate voted 58-42 on Friday night to reject Senator Bernie Sanders’ efforts to add a $ 15 minimum wage to President Biden’s $ 1.9 million COVID-19 relief bill and is now ready to work until Saturday at an all-day marathon of bargaining for the massive measure.
The so-called “voice-a-rama” – during which senators can propose and discuss unlimited amendments – met with objections from Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell, who announced on Friday that democracy would drag its feet to postpone voting by 10 a.m. on Saturday.
“They want to start a ram vote, which could be done in broad daylight because of their own confusion and the challenge of bringing 50 people together to agree on something,”
He cites a 12-hour lodge from earlier Friday, during which Democrats fought to unite the 50 members of their cacus, a stalemate that finally ended just before 11pm, with a last-minute compromise with Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin, a centrist Democrat, has urgent unemployment benefits.
“Now that this agreement has been reached, we will govern the rest of the process and make this bill,” Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) promised.
Democrats, who tightly control the Senate, postponed plans to begin amendments to the amendments early Friday afternoon after Manchin (DW.Va.) sided with Republicans in demanding a reduction in unemployment benefits.
This particular lodge was cut off after nine hours, with a compromise that would provide $ 300 a week in benefits until Sept. 6, along with tax relief.
The federal unemployment benefit, approved in December – at $ 300 a week – expires this month.
Biden’s version of the bill, passed by the House, had a more generous unemployment benefit of $ 400 by August.
The last-minute talks were the first major game by Manchin, who could single-handedly thwart Biden’s legislative program in the evenly divided Senate.
Biden won less than 30 percent of the vote in West Virginia, giving Manchin no imperative to enter the queue.
The evening compromise – and the vote to lower the minimum wage – paves the way for a series of marathon votes on the extensive relief package, with voting scheduled to continue until Saturday.
In addition to raising unemployment benefits from $ 300 per week, the Senate COVID-19 relief bill provides for:
• Compensation of $ 1,400 per person, including children, for individuals earning less than $ 75,000 per year or married couples earning less than $ 150,000 per year.
• A total of $ 350 billion in aid to municipalities, states and the District of Columbia.
• Extension of the current 15% increase in food stamp benefits until September.
• About $ 20 billion in housing assistance for state and local governments.
• Nearly $ 130 billion for K-12 schools to help children return to their classrooms.
• $ 15 billion for small businesses through the disaster emergency loan program.
• $ 75 billion for vaccinations, tests and other pandemic medical supplies.
• $ 3,600 annual tax credit for a child under the age of 6 and $ 3,000 for a child under the age of 17.
The budget conciliation rules allow for a simple majority vote to pass legislation in the evenly divided Senate, where Vice President Kamala Harris breaks ties in favor of Democrats.
The version of the bill in the Senate has already undergone significant changes.
This week, Biden signed a steeper suspension of $ 1,400 incentive checks, meaning people earning more than $ 80,000 a year won’t see a penny, which is less than $ 100,000 in the House version. .
A Senate lawmaker shattered key provisions opposed by Republicans and some centrist Democrats, including $ 140 million for a railroad project near Parliament Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s California neighborhood.
Republicans have largely argued that the bill is unnecessary and wasteful, stressing that much of the money will not be spent until the pandemic is over.
For example, the bill contains $ 129 billion for K-12 schools, but the Congressional Budget Office estimates that about 95 percent will not be spent in 2021 because funds approved for schools last year were not spent.
For parents, the bill allows a $ 3,600 annual tax credit for a child under the age of 6 and a $ 3,000 tax for a child under the age of 17.
These funds are also phased out for winners over $ 75,000 or joint file submissions over $ 150,000.
A family of four who earns less than $ 150,000 can bank more than $ 14,000 from the account, according to an analysis by CNBC.extra.