Senate mired in ‘vote-a-rama’ ahead of huddle between Biden and Democrats

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The Senate approved a budget resolution early Friday morning to speed passage of President Joe Biden’s pandemic aid plan without the need for Republican buy-in.

After nearly 15 hours of amendments during the endurance run known as “vote-a-rama,” the Senate voted 51-50 to adopt the measure, unlocking reconciliation — the budget tool Democrats are readying to enact the president’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief proposal with just 51 votes in the Senate. Vice President Kamala Harris cast her first tie-breaking vote just after 5 a.m. on an amendment to the budget measure.

Once the House approves the Senate’s tweaks, a total of 25 committees across both chambers will get to work writing the legislative flesh to enact Biden’s plan to send out a new round of $1,400 stimulus checks to Americans, boost the weekly federal unemployment benefit to $400 through September and more than double the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour, on top of hundreds of billions of dollars in aid to states, communities and schools.

Biden and Harris are set to meet Friday morning with House Democratic leaders and committee chairs to discuss the next steps for the stimulus.

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