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.
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
And the American Rescue Plan will deliver more help to more people than anything the federal government's done in decades
This bill is broader, deeper, more comprehensive in helping working people and lifting people out of poverty
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) March 6, 2021
“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.”
Every Republican voted NO on cutting child poverty in half.
Every Republican voted NO on sending you a #StimulusCheck
Every Republican voted NO on financial relief for renters, businesses & schools.
— Jake Lobin (@JakeLobin) March 6, 2021
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.
When I took office, I promised help was on the way. Thanks to @SenSchumer and Senate Democrats, we've taken one more giant step forward in delivering on that promise.
I hope the American Rescue Plan receives a quick passage in the House so it can be sent to my desk to be signed.
— President Biden (@POTUS) March 6, 2021