Updated Mar 6, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Senate pulls all-nighter on amendments to COVID relief package

The U.S. Capitol on March 5.

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Democratic leaders struck an agreement with Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) on emergency unemployment insurance late Friday, clearing the way for Senate action on President Biden's $1.9 trillion stimulus package to resume after an hours-long delay.

The state of play: The Senate continued to work through votes on a marathon of amendments overnight into Saturday morning.

  • Helping unemployed Americans has been an issue that's divided progressives, hoping to help constituents who've lost jobs amid the pandemic, and Manchin and his fellow moderates who have wanted to cut costs from the sweeping legislation.

The big picture: Democrats will offer an amendment extending the enhanced unemployment insurance of $300 per week, trimmed from $400, through Sept. 6. The bill passed by the House pushed the program through Aug. 29.

  • The deal also provides tax relief to those who receive unemployment insurance from the program by making the first $10,200 received non-taxable for households with incomes under $150,000.

What they're saying: "The President supports the compromise agreement, and is grateful to all the Senators who worked so hard to reach this outcome," White House press secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement Friday night.

  • "Most importantly, this agreement allows us to move forward on the urgently needed American Rescue Plan, with $1400 relief checks, funding we need to finish the vaccine rollout, open our schools, help those suffering from the pandemic, and more."

What to watch: A final Senate vote on the bill is expected later Saturday.

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