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Senate Passes Budget Resolution; Vice President Harris Breaks Tie

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During the marathon Senate session on Thursday into Friday, Vice President Harris had to cast her first tiebreaking vote in the divided Senate.

WASHINGTON — The Senate approved a budget resolution early Friday morning that tees up President Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief bill for passage without Republican support. With the Senate evenly divided, Vice President Harris cast the tiebreaking vote.

Lawmakers approved the resolution shortly after 5:30 a.m. following and an all-night “vote-a-rama,” which brought hours of votes on dozens of amendments, many intended to force legislators to take a public stand on unrelated controversial issues.

The resolution allows Democrats to move forward with an eventual coronavirus relief bill that can circumvent the 60-vote threshold required to end a filibuster. They could now potentially pass the future bill with a simple majority.

The House must now pass the same version of the budget measure before lawmakers can begin writing the final relief package. That vote may come later Friday.

The budget resolution gives committees the authority to draft legislation reflecting Biden’s proposed $1.9 trillion pandemic relief package. It’s expected to eventually include $1,400 stimulus checks for most Americans and expanded pandemic unemployment aid.

Republicans oppose the size of Biden’s proposal and have offered a smaller alternative. The president said he “will not settle” on his pandemic relief bill.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

COVID-19 is a rapidly evolving story, and we are working hard to bring you the most up-to-date information. We recommend checking the Coronavirus Information Center for the most recent numbers and guidance.

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