By making this move – they cleared the Senate in a partisan vote Saturday on the $1.9 trillion COVID 19 relief bill.
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- The amendment Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) suggested, which provided benefit for the jobless until July the 18th was adopted, but id didn’t live in its original version for long. Because just about an hour later, the Democrats extended this dead-line due to September 6th with their own amendment.
And how did this happen?
“Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) voted with all 49 Republican senators present to approve Portman’s amendment, although he later voted with his Democrat colleagues on the superseding amendment that additionally made the first $10,200 in unemployment benefits tax-free for some households,” a report on the voting session claims.
- Another Republican amendment was introduced by Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kansas), which was meant to provide an effective date for the modification of revenue requirements for educational institutions. It passed… No complaints.
- The third GOP proposal that has passed was amendment #1233, which activates $800 million of the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund to help homeless youth and children, introduced by Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska).
And that’s it. All other Republican amendments have failed to pass.
Let us be reminded of some of them:
- Amendment #1030, which revived the effort for transparency and investigations into COVID-19 nursing home deaths, made by Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.)
- Amendment #1026, proposed by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), sought to ensure schools be funded, only if they have been open half the time, for at least half of the students
- Amendment #1369 from Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), which sought to modify a state-and-local funding formula that was “too generous to blue states.”
- Amendments to revive the canceled Keystone XL pipeline to help COVID-impacted communities
Senate Republicans, including Graham, Minority Whip John Thune (R-S.D.), and several others, charged what they said was a partisan process around passing the relief bill, calling out Joe Biden for lying when he previously stated he was fighting for unity.
“They’ve chosen a partisan path. And the reason we’re not doing it together now is they don’t want to do it together. They’ve got a wish list that’s unrelated to COVID that none of us are going to buy into. They see this as an opportunity to appropriate money for their liberal wish list using COVID as the reason,” Graham concluded in his statement.
The bill, also known as the “American Rescue Plan” or H.R. 1319, was passed by the House on Feb. 27 by a vote of 219–212, and will be returned to the House for settlement.