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The U.S. Senate, with a first-time tie-breaking vote by Vice President Kamala Harris, early this morning passed a $1.9 trillion budget resolution to deal with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the Senate Democrats and Republicans have 50 senators each and it is Harris as President of the Senate who is allowed to cast a vote when there is a tie. The Democrats continue to impose their agenda far from the bipartisan consensus promised by President Joe Biden.
After its passage in the Senate, the resolution now returns to the Democratic-majority House of Representatives.
“We’ve made progress,” Democratic Majority Leader Senator Chuck Schumer of New York declared during the session.
The budget resolution authorizes a pandemic bill in the amount requested by President Joe Biden, and includes instructions for Congressional committees to draft the legislation.
A group of Republican senators had offered a $618 billion package, claiming that the current package will hurt the economy in the long run with a gigantic increase in debt.
Biden’s proposal includes distributing $1,400 checks to taxpayers, a $400 weekly unemployment benefit, $350 billion to help state and local governments, an increase in the minimum wage to $15 an hour, and more funding for child care, schools and vaccine distribution.