Good morning—especially to the Senate clerks who stayed up until the early hours of the morning reading the entire legislative text of Democrats’ coronavirus relief plan to a nearly empty Senate chamber.
Aid Debate Kicks Off
Senate Democrats voted yesterday to begin debate on their nearly $2 trillion coronavirus aid package, aiming for a final vote potentially over the weekend.
The bill would send a $1,400 check to many Americans with an additional $1,400 per dependent. Breaking from the House bill, moderate Senate Democrats successfully pushed to narrow the pool of people receiving the checks, phasing them out much earlier for people making more than $75,000 per year and couples making more than $150,000 per year.
It still boosts federal unemployment benefits from $300 per week to $400 per week and extends the program, currently set to expire March 14, through the end of August. The legislation has funding for vaccine distribution, coronavirus testing, and schools. It also includes $350 billion for state and local governments—funding Republicans have taken issue with as state revenues have been better than many previously feared.