[BREAKING] Senate Democrats Pass COVID19 Relief Bill With No Help From GOP

Despite all of their tactics to delay a vote via filibuster, Senate Republicans still couldn’t stop the Democrats from passing a major bill in the Senate. Even with seven Democrats and one Independent voting against the relief package, Senate Democrats passed their version of the near-$1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act Saturday afternoon, but not before making some major changes from the version of the bill passed by the House of Representatives last week.

Some of the most notable changes between the two relief bills include dropping a provision to gradually increase the minimum wage to $15 per hour and reducing the number of people who will qualify for a $1,400 stimulus payment.

WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 02: U.S. Senate Majority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) speaks as Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) (L) and Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) (R) listen.

The value of federal enhanced unemployment insurance (UI) benefits was also changed to appease moderate Democratic Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia, who threatened not to support the bill. Just as in the House, no Republican lawmakers voted in favor of the legislation, saying it was unnecessary.

The bill keeps many of the progressive provisions from the House’s version, and added a provision to make student loan forgiveness passed between Dec 31, 2020, and Jan 1, 2026, tax-free.

“Covid has affected nearly every aspect of life,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said Saturday. “The American Rescue Plan will deliver more help to more people than anything the federal government’s done in decades.”

The package also makes provisions for a third economic impact payment, worth up to $1,400 per qualifying individual and dependent. The bill provides funding for a third economic impact payment, worth up to $1,400 per individual and dependent. The House will now have to sign off on the changes before the bill can be signed by President Biden.

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