The Senate passed President Joe Biden’s $ 1.9 trillion Covid relief plan on Saturday, after an all-night “vote-a-rama” and a 12-hour struggle to get Democratic Senator Joe Manchin to back the party plan on a critical issue.
The vote was 50 to 49.
The bill is now sent back to the House of Representatives for a separate vote before President Biden signs it into law.
It should be adopted next week.
The $ 1.9 trillion bill includes stimulus checks for many Americans amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Democrats have faced fierce pressure to stay united and pass the administration’s top legislative priority by March 14, when unemployment benefits are expected to expire for millions of Americans. But West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin’s unexpected opposition on Friday to a Democratic deal to increase unemployment benefits halted the Senate, sparking a relentless lobbying effort between the two sides.
Democrats kept a recorded Senate vote open for 11 hours and 50 minutes, the longest in recent history, as Manchin signaled he would accept the Republicans’ less generous proposal.
The dispute was a sign of the centrist Democrat’s power in the 50-50 Senate, where Democrats control the narrowest majority possible, and an example of how a single senator can derail the president’s agenda.
Republican Senator Dan Sullivan had to leave on Friday to return home to Alaska for a family funeral, leaving Republicans with just 49 votes speechless.