Ayyyeee… What’s Goodie Everyone. So I got some tea and it involves a Economics relief plan.
On Friday the Senate approved a budget bill early that paves the way for passage of President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package, with Vice President Kamala Harris casting the tiebreaking vote on the measure that will be key to enacting Biden’s first major legislative initiative.
Passage of the budget bill by a 51-to-50 vote came just after 5:30 a.m. Friday, after an all night Senate session during which senators plowed through dozens of amendments in a chaotic process known as a “vote-a-rama.” Democrats cheered on progress to address the pandemic, while Republicans complained of partisanship and excessive spending. The House, which approved its own budget bill on Wednesday, is expected to act on on the Senate’s version within a day.
With the budget resolution nearly complete, Congress can turn in earnest to writing Biden’s expansive pandemic relief proposal into law and push it through the Senate, without Republican votes if necessary, under the special rules unlocked by the budget legislation. That process will take weeks, with Democrats eyeing mid March as the deadline for final passage of the relief legislation because that is when enhanced unemployment benefits will expire if Congress doesn’t act first and despite Biden’s campaign promises of unity and bipartisanship, now that Democrats control both chambers of Congress and the White House they appeared ready to leave Republicans behind. Republican senators accused Democrats of hypocrisy and argued that, after already devoting $4 trillion to fighting the pandemic, including $900 billion in December, there was no need to spend another $2 trillion on what they termed a wish list of liberal priorities.
Under the Senate’s arcane rules, debate on the budget resolution in the Senate triggered a freewheeling amendment process known as a “vote-a-rama” that began Thursday afternoon and lasted for the next 15 hours, with some 45 amendments considered on a wide array of topics.