The Senate has adopted a budget resolution for the “American Rescue Plan” by a narrow 51-50 vote. The process allowed the Senate to proceed toward passing an additional COVID relief bill under the budget reconciliation rules. Interestingly, the Senate passed three GOP amendments with bipartisan support: (1) opposing the blocking of the Keystone XL Pipeline by President Biden, (2) opposing a ban on fracking, and (3) opposing the ability for illegal immigrants to receive COVID stimulus checks.
But 12 Democrats who voted to pass the bipartisan amendments later that night switched their vote at 5:07 am when Senator Schumer proposed an amendment to undo the three GOP proposed amendments.
The House is expected to pass their version shortly. The $1.9 trillion stimulus bill includes a federal minimum wage increase to $15, $1,400 individual stimulus checks, and an extension on unemployment benefits. Democrats hold a thin margin, which leaves little room for defections in the face of solid Republican opposition to the legislation.
Our Congressman Kevin McCarthy commented on the upcoming legislation saying:
“The Democrats’ “COVID” bill is too expensive and too expansive. Only 9% of the $1.9 trillion will be spent to actually fight the pandemic.”