Senate approves budget resolution, setting stage for $1.9T coronavirus relief package

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate early Friday approved a budget resolution that sets the stage for eventually passing a $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package – even if it doesn’t garner support from Republicans – through the reconciliation process.

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According to the Washington Post, the Senate voted along party lines 51-50, with Vice President Kamala Harris acting as a tiebreaker, to pass the resolution about 5:30 a.m. following an overnight “vote-a-rama” session involving several proposed amendments. The next step is for the House to vote on the Senate resolution, the Post reported. If the resolution is approved, committees will start to write a bill that includes items from the relief plan – including $1,400 direct payments, the newspaper reported.

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Under budget reconciliation, any bill crafted within its rules can pass the Senate with 51 votes as opposed to the 60 usually needed, according to the Post.

Democrats hope to pass the COVID-19 relief package by March, The Associated Press reported.

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