The bill must now pass a final vote in the House of Representatives to approve the changes made in the Senate, and then it will be sent to the White House for Biden’s signature, probably in the middle or at the end of next week.
The Senate of U.S approved on Saturday a stimulus plan of $ 1.9 trillion to alleviate the economic crisis caused by the pandemic of the coronavirus, which marks the first legislative victory of the American president Joe Biden. The bailout package, the third approved in the U.S. since the pandemic began a year ago, includes new direct payments of $ 1,400 to taxpayers who earn less than $ 80,000 a year, plus funds for state governments and locations, vaccinations and school reopening. By 50 to 49 votes, the Senate endorsed the so-called American Rescue Plan, which the House of Representatives approved a week ago. “This bill will give more help to more people than anything the federal government has done for decades,” celebrated Senate Democratic Party leader Chuck Schumer, even before the vote.
The bill must now pass a final vote in the House of Representatives to approve the changes made in the Senate, and then it will be sent to the White House for Biden’s signature, probably in the middle or at the end of next week. It is the first legislative victory for the Biden presidency, which made mitigating the effects of the pandemic its priority and had the support of the Democratic majority, who voted as a bloc.
STRONG REPUBLICAN OPPOSITION
Republican Party officials, on the other hand, criticized the bailout for considering it too expensive and said it was too early to approve it, since funds from the stimulus plan boosted in December are still being disbursed. “The Senate has never spent nearly 2 trillion dollars in a more random fashion,” complained Republican leader Mitch McConnell. The 49 “no” votes registered this Saturday belonged entirely to the Republicans, as a sign of the strong opposition generated between Biden’s policies, despite calls for the new president’s unity. Although the Senate is divided equally into 50 Democratic and 50 Republican seats, this time it was not necessary for Vice President Kamala Harris to untie as President of the upper house, as Republican Senator Dan Sullivan was absent for personal reasons.
The vote came after a marathon of sessions that began on Friday morning and, after a long pause, extended into the evening and into Saturday morning, when Republicans and some Democrats tried to add amendments to the bill. This is the third economy bailout to have been approved by the US Congress since the beginning of the health crisis. The first, at $ 2.2 trillion, which placed it as the largest in history, passed in March 2020, and the second, at $ 900 billion, in December.
* With information from EFE