WENDELL HUSEBO 6 Mar 2021
The $1.9 trillion coronavirus package, which includes $1,400 stimulus payments and $350 billion to cities and states, passed the Senate Saturday afternoon 50 to 49.
Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-AK) was absent due to a family emergency.
The bill will now return to the House of Representatives to proceed through the process of reconciliation before the House votes again on any modifications. In essence, the 221 House Democrats will decide if they wish to imperial President Joe Biden’s first year in office.
The Senate-amended bill also includes a $300 weekly federal unemployment benefit through August 2021. The change is an adjustment to the legislation passed in the House, which sought to increase the benefits to $400 a week.
The $15 minimum wage hike will not be included in the bill. Seven Democrat senators on Friday joined all Senate Republicans in voting against Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (D-VT) proposal to increase the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour.
The bill also includes other items on the Democrat’s wish list: funding for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), more Affordable Care Act (ACA) subsidies, Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) subsidies, rent relief, paid sick leave, and paid family leave.