On Friday night, Senate Democrats reached an agreement on how to settle unemployment relief in the $ 1.9 trillion coronavirus bill, allowing the plan to continue after several hours of delay.
The agreement triggered a nightly vote on amendments to the bailout, which lasted until Saturday morning before a final vote was taken on the bill.
Democratic Senator Joe Mansheen of West Virginia backs the party’s unemployment benefit plan and was unwilling to back an earlier version of the plan, blocking Democrats’ efforts to enact the measure this weekend. When Democrats and Republicans urged conservative Democrats to back their unemployment proposal, disputes over unemployment insurance left the Senate in chaos.
According to NBC News, the agreement will increase unemployment benefits to $ 300 in the current week through Sept. 6. It would make the first $ 10,200 unemployment aid tax-free to avoid unexpected bills. The rule applies to families with an income of less than $ 150,000.
“We have reached a compromise that will allow the economy to recover quickly, while protecting those receiving unemployment benefits from an unexpected tax assessment next year,” Mansheen said in a statement Friday.
Democrats approved the change in the unemployment rate in a marathon-style ballot that included an amendment called an “industry ballot.” On Saturday morning, the Senate had voted on more than 20 amendments and rejected almost all of them.
Once the lawmakers pass the vote, they can move forward with final approval of the legislation, which Senate Democrats hope to finalize this weekend. After Alaska Senator Dan Sullivan is forced to return home for a family funeral, Vice President Kamala Harris is not expected to break the 50-50 tie in the Senate.
The House plans to approve a Senate version of the plan next week and send it to Biden for it to become law.
Democrats hope to make it to the final bailout by March 14, the day current unemployment benefits of $ 300 a week end. However, as the deadline approached, Friday’s delay threatened prompt approval.
Democrats initially proposed that until the House of Representatives approves it on Saturday and through August, they could receive a weekly unemployment benefit of $ 400. Mansheen had considered backing a plan suggested by Ohio Senator Rob Portman to extend the $ 300 weekly grant through July.
The shift to unemployment support appears to be aimed at appeasing the various members of the Democratic core group. Political parties cannot lose votes and still obtain a simple majority, and this is the required criterion for the settlement of the budget in the House of Representatives, which is divided equally by the parties.
If the legislature is expected to return to Capitol Hill for Congressional approval next week, cutting down turnout too much could lose the support of House Democrats. White House press secretary Jane Psaki said in a statement Friday evening that President Joe Biden “supports the settlement agreement.”
Speaking of the Democratic Party’s aid bill, he said, “Most importantly, this agreement allows us to move forward with the urgently needed US bailout plan.”
To the Conservative Democrats, the $ 100 weekly cut in unemployment benefits appears to be a concession. The party leaders agreed to limit the number of people who directly accept a payment of $ 1,400, as Manchine and others are concerned about how checks are processed.
Additional unemployment benefits are expected to be added to lure senators led by Oregon Democratic Representative Ron Wyden, who fear that when the unemployment assistance program ends in August, thousands of American people will suddenly lose financial support. The rules for granting unemployment benefits and extending eligibility expired last summer. Congress did not update it until December.
Wyden called for unemployment aid to be linked to economic conditions so that it does not end until the economy recovers. Some Republicans opposed to the bill believe that rising $ 400 a week unemployment is keeping people from returning to work. Then lawmakers made a weekly subsidy of $ 6