PUBLISHED SAT, MAR 6 202112:24 PM EST UPDATED SAT, MAR 6 20213:09 PM EST
Senate Democrats passed their $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package on Saturday, sending it back to the House for expected approval in the coming days.
The party hopes to have the aid bill to President Joe Biden’s desk before unemployment aid programs expire on March 14.
Democrats had to make several last-minute changes to win support from all of their members, as they say the plan is needed to get the country through the end of the pandemic.
Republicans opposed another major spending plan, contending the state of the economy does not warrant it.
"...The GOP lambasted the relief package, describing it as a wasteful list of Democratic priorities. Frequent targets were the bill’s $350 billion in state, local and tribal aid, along with its $170 billion set aside for K-12 schools and higher education.
“This isn’t a pandemic rescue package. It’s a parade of left-wing pet projects that they are ramming through during a pandemic,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said on Friday.
McConnell and others cited a stronger than expected February jobs report in arguing the U.S. does not need nearly $2 trillion more in stimulus. Even so, the U.S. had about 8.5 million fewer people employed than it did in the previous year.
Biden cited the need to sustain the recovery — along with the millions who stand to lose unemployment benefits without renewal of pandemic-era programs — in making his case for the relief bill Friday.
“Without a rescue plan, these gains are going to slow,” he said. “We can’t afford one step forward and two steps backwards.”
Proponents of the bill also touted its potential to slash child poverty.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., said Saturday that the House plans to approve the Senate version of the bill on Tuesday. Democrats did not win any Republican support in the House last week when they passed similar legislation..."
ZERO REPUBLICANS IN EITHER HOUSE OR SENATE VOTED FOR THIS BILL.