The United States Senate approved a budget resolution on Friday that will enable President Joe Biden’s forthcoming $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief bill without Republican support. Vice President Kamala Harris cast the tie-breaking vote that secured the resolution’s passage in the divided Senate.
The resolution was approved in the early hours of Friday morning, following an all-night “vote-a-rama” according to NPR. The session saw hours of votes on dozens of amendments which were designed to force legislators to take a public stand on a variety of issues, some of which were controversial, according to the outlet.
Following the resolution, Democrats may now move forward with an eventual coronavirus relief bill that allows them to circumvent the 60 vote threshold needed to end a filibuster. The Democrats may potentially pass the future bill with only a simple majority.
The House must now pass the same version of the budget measure before lawmakers compose the final relief package. The vote in the House may come later Friday.
The relief package is expected to pass some time in mid-March, when currently implemented enhanced unemployment benefits are set to expire, unless Congress takes action.
The budget resolution provides lawmakers with the authority to draft legislation in line with Biden’s proposed $1.9 trillion pandemic relief package. It is expected to include the promised $1,400 in stimulus cash for most Americans and expanded financial aid for the unemployed.
Republicans have voiced opposition to the size of the $1.9 trillion proposal, and offered a smaller alternative.
Republicans say that they believe their version of the package could be approved “quickly by Congress with bipartisan support,” reports Reuters.