The Senate passed President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill

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SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT

The Senate passed President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill on Saturday. In a 50-49 vote, Senate Democrats voted to pass the American Rescue Plan, which passed the House in a 219-212 vote with no Republican support. Vice President Kamala Harris cast a tie-breaking vote Thursday in the Senate to begin the debate on the American Rescue Plan.

Senate Republicans forced a number of votes on the floor Friday to get Democrats on the record regarding a number of controversial issues such as giving relief checks to illegal immigrants and raising taxes on small businesses.

Republicans forced votes on issues Democrats might not want to put their names next to, which kept senators on the floor until late into the night. The last “vote-a-rama” occurred in early February but before then had not occurred in over three years.

In a budget reconciliation process, which Democrats used to push their relief bill forward, a vote-a-rama can be used to force a vote on anything. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell announced Republicans would be forcing votes on a number of amendments to help improve the final relief bill. (RELATED: Vote-A-Rama: Senate Republicans To Force Votes On A Number Of Issues, Including Blocking Stimulus Checks For Illegal Immigrants)

The legislation includes $1,400 relief checks for Americans and $350 billion for state, local and tribal government budgets. Democrats scrapped a plan that would have punished corporations that did not raise their minimum wage to $15 while rewarding small businesses that raise wages.

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