Harris Breaks Tie to Begin Senate Talks On COVID-19 Stimulus

Headline Roundup March 4th, 2021

On Thursday, Senate Democrats voted to begin debate surrounding the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 bill. The Senate voted 50-50 to advance the bill with Vice President Kamala Harris breaking the tie; no Republicans voted to take up the bill. This comes after a delay in approval from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), which would make sure the Senate's bill complied with reconciliation rules -- a budget process that allows the bill to bypass a 60-vote filibuster. The Senate's version of the bill removes the $15 minimum wage increase, and lowers the cutoff for receiving stimulus checks to $80,000 for individuals and $160,000 for couples. The Senate will likely debate the bill for several days before it reaches a final vote. Then, the bill will return to the House, which will need to approve any changes made by the Senate.

The Senate's decision received coverage across the political spectrum.

Harris Breaks Tie to Begin Senate Talks On COVID-19 Stimulus

From the Left
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The Senate voted by the slimmest of margins Thursday to begin debating a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill, after Democrats made eleventh-hour changes aimed at ensuring they could pull President Joe Biden’s top legislative priority through the precariously divided chamber.

Democrats were hoping for Senate approval of the package before next week, in time for the House to sign off and get the measure to Biden quickly. They were encountering opposition from Republicans arguing that the measure’s massive price tag ignored promising signs that the pandemic and wounded economy were...

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From the Right
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Vice President Kamala Harris on Thursday broke a 50-50 Senate tie to begin debate on President Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill.

Debate on the bill, which would grant $1,400 stimulus checks to most Americans, is expected to drag into the weekend before a final vote.

“On this vote the yays are 50, the nays are 50. The Senate being equally divided, the vice president votes in the affirmative and the motion to proceed is agreed to,” Harris said.

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From the Center
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Senate Democrats voted on Thursday to take up a sweeping $1.9 trillion coronavirus bill, teeing off what's expected to be a days-long sprint to pass the legislation.

The Senate voted 50-50 to proceed to the coronavirus relief legislation, with Vice President Harris breaking the tie to advance the bill. “The Senate is going to move forward with the bill. No matter how long it takes, the Senate is going to stay in session to finish the bill this week,” Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said from the Senate...

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