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Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Senate passes budget plan to advance COVID relief

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Senate passes budget plan to advance COVID relief
Senate passes budget plan to advance COVID relief

The U.S. House of Representatives will take up final approval on Friday of a budget measure that would let Democrats push President Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package through Congress in coming weeks without Republican support.

A planned vote will come hours after the U.S. Senate narrowly approved an amended version of the budget plan.

This report produced by Jillian Kitchener.

At the end of some 15 hours of debate on the Senate floor, the chamber on Friday narrowly approved a budget plan that’s key to passing President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus aid bill.

The Senate vote led to a 50-50 partisan deadlock which was broken by Vice President Kamala Harris.

HARRIS: “The Senate being equally divided, the vice president votes in the affirmative.

And the concurrent resolution as amended is adopted." The House - which approved an initial version of the budget measure earlier this week - will vote on its final approval Friday.

Once the budget is approved, Democrats could push the COVID relief package through Congress in coming weeks without Republican support.

Senate Democrats and the Biden administration have said they want legislation to move quickly to address a pandemic that has killed more than 450,000 Americans and left millions jobless.

They want to spend the $1.9 trillion to speed-up COVID-19 vaccinations throughout the country.

Other funds would extend special unemployment benefits that will expire at the end of March and make direct payments to people to help them pay bills and stimulate the economy.

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