Updated Feb 5, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Both chambers pass budget resolution, paving the way for Biden's relief plan

The House voted 219-209 on Friday afternoon to approve a budget resolution that will be used to facilitate passage of President Biden's $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief proposal.

Why it matters: Passing the stimulus package via the budget reconciliation process allows Democrats to sidestep the 60-vote threshold needed in the Senate to approve most major legislation.

  • The Senate passed the resolution at 5:30 a.m. on Friday after 15 hours of overnight debate on amendments.
  • Vice President Harris was the tie-breaking vote for the first time, after senators voted 50-50 along party lines.

What's next: Committees will now begin writing the bill.

  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told Democrats in a letter before the vote that they intend to “finish our work” on the relief package before the end of the month.

What they're saying: "[W]e have taken a giant step to begin to fulfill our promise to the American people that a Democratic Senate, a Democratic House and President Biden will have their back and move them forward during this awful crisis," Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said Friday morning.

  • “Our work to crush the coronavirus and deliver relief to the American people is urgent and of the highest priority,” Pelosi said. “With this budget resolution, we have taken a giant step to save lives and livelihoods.”

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