U.S. Senate approves US$1.9 trillion economic relief plan from COVID-19

After a 15-hour overnight debate from 2 pm on the 4th, the U.S. Senate passed a budget resolution on the morning of the 5th, allowing Democrats to push for a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief without Republican support. plan.

Specifically, the proposal includes:

$1,400 direct payment plan;

By the end of September this year, you can receive 400 US dollars of unemployment benefits per week;

350 billion US dollars in state and local government relief funds;

20 billion US dollars of new crown vaccination plan;

A US$50 billion COVID-19 research fund;

$170 billion in subsidies for K-12 schools and higher education institutions;

30 billion US dollars in rent and utility assistance funds.

The “Capitol Hill” and “Washington Post” reported that: Senators from both parties voted for this budget resolution of 50 to 50. Vice President He Jinli finally cast a key vote to pass the budget resolution.

Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer said after the vote: “We have moved forward. We will continue to work as hard as we can to pass this bill in the House of Representatives and the Senate through budget coordination procedures. Deliver it to the president’s desk.”

The House of Representatives has passed a budget resolution earlier. As the Senate has revised the budget, the resolution is now sent back to the House of Representatives. The House of Representatives will vote for the resolution for the second time as soon as Friday. After it is passed, several congressional committees will begin to formally draft a rescue plan.

The Democrats now control both houses of Congress, but because they only occupy 50 seats in the Senate, Vice President He Jinli is needed to break the deadlock. They still have to design and negotiate this legislation carefully, and cannot lose any of the 50 Democrats in the Senate. Tickets.

But Republicans are angry that Democrats have chosen to advance the bill in a budget coordination method that requires only a simple majority of votes. Since Congress passed the 900 billion COVID-19 rescue plan at the end of last year, no Republican senator currently supports another 1.9 trillion yuan in the COVID-19 rescue.

The bill is expected to follow the plan announced by Biden before he was sworn in last month, including issuing a new round of bailout checks for 1,400 yuan to the public, raising the federal minimum wage, and providing 130 billion yuan to schools so that schools can safely rebuild. Start of school.

At present, the Senate’s resolution has passed many amendments. Although many of the amendments are ambiguous, it is not clear how they will affect the final legislation.

Among them, the amendments include a series of measures, such as preventing high-income earners from receiving relief funds, establishing a subsidy program for restaurants, prohibiting tax increases to small businesses, and prohibiting direct fines to undocumented immigrants.

Earlier, the Republicans proposed a $618 billion proposal to Biden because they believed that Congress should limit additional spending after the $900 billion aid bill passed in December.

Besides, the Democratic Party’s goal is to pass a relief package before March 14, when the $300 weekly unemployment benefit approved in December will expire.

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