Senate Approves $1.9 Trillion Stimulus Bill

Headline Roundup March 6th, 2021

The U.S. Senate passed the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package early Saturday morning, after a 27-hour marathon overnight session. Senators voted 50-49, with every Republican voting against the bill, and with one Republican absent. The package kept $1,400 in direct payments for Americans under a certain income threshold and $350 billion to help state and local governments reopen, but scaled back unemployment benefits to $300 a week until early September, and cut a federal $15 minimum wage proposal amid pressure from moderate Democrats. On Saturday morning, President Joe Biden told reporters the package was "one more giant step forward" on delivering on his promise for more pandemic relief. Republican lawmakers heavily criticized the bill; Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said "the Senate has never spent $2 trillion in a more haphazard way or through a less rigorous process." The legislation will be sent to the House for approval before it reaches Biden's desk.⁣

The story received wide coverage from across the political spectrum. Left-rated outlets tended to provide analysis of various items on the bill. Coverage from some center- and right-rated outlets highlighted the tension between moderate and progressive Democrats, as well as the criticism the bill received from Republican lawmakers.⁣

3/6/21: This story has been updated for clarity on stimulus payment caps at 2:30 pm PST

Senate Approves $1.9 Trillion Stimulus Bill

From the Right
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The Senate voted 50-49 to pass Democrats’ $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package on Saturday, after a marathon session of voting on various amendments.

The bill was passed via budget reconciliation rules, which allow a simple majority to approve legislation in place of a filibuster-proof 60-vote threshold. The Biden administration had been pushing to pass the legislation before the week of March 14, when pandemic-related federal unemployment assistance is scheduled to expire.

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From the Left
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The Senate ended a 27-hour marathon overnight session Saturday by narrowly passing a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package. Senators voted 50-49 along party lines with one Republican—Sen. Dan Sullivan of Alaska—absent. The approval got Democrats one step closer to fulfilling one of the biggest early priorities for President Joe Biden. Now the bill must go back to the House of Representatives. Although a small group of moderate Democrats pushed some changes in the final bill that angered progressives that isn’t expected to lead to a rejection of the measure in...

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From the Center
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The Democratic-controlled Senate Saturday overcame Republican roadblocks and a debate that lasted beyond 24 hours to pass President Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package which would provide millions of Americans with $1,400 direct payments, billions of dollars for vaccine distribution, and funds to help reopen schools and colleges.

The chamber passed the bill following a session that began around 9 a.m. Friday and ended at approximately 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, aft a "vote-a-rama" of proposed changes from both parties. The final vote was 50-49 with all Republicans voting against...

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