Senate adopts budget resolution for coronavirus relief after marathon vote-a-rama

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Senate adopts budget resolution for coronavirus relief after marathon vote-a-rama

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The “vote-a-rama” in the Senate that started at about 2:30 p.m. Thursday concluded shortly before 6 a.m. Friday after a marathon process in which Republicans forced Democrats to take votes on tough issues for more than 15 hours. 

The Senate adopted a budget resolution for coronavirus relief 51-50 with Vice President Harris casting the tie-breaking vote. It’s not a final bill, but allows the Senate to proceed toward a final bill under the budget reconciliation rules, which would let Democrats pass a coronavirus stimulus plan without help from Republicans if their caucus remains united. 

Senate Republicans were taking advantage of a Senate procedure that allows them to propose a plethora of amendments to the budget resolution Democrats are using to advance their coronavirus stimulus plan.

REPUBLICANS PUT DEMOCRATS ON THE SPOT OVER STIMULUS CHECKS, TAXES IN MARATHON ‘VOTE-A-RAMA’

Senate Minority Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., indicated that Republicans would drag out the process with the aim of extracting a pound of flesh from Democrats in uncomfortable votes. 

“We’re going to put senators on the record,” he said on Thursday. “Expect votes to stop Washington from actively killing jobs during a recovery — like terminating the Keystone pipeline; that job-killing, one-size-fits-all minimum wage hike; and whether to bar tax hikes on small businesses for the duration of this emergency.” 

He’d also previously said Republicans would bring up amendments on stimulus checks for illegal immigrants, federal funding for schools districts that don’t get children in classrooms and more. 

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Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., criticized Republicans for planning to introduce “messaging amendments” to “score political points.” 

“What amendments our friends in the minority propose is entirely up to them,” Schumer said. He added that he hopes Republicans don’t use “the debate over pandemic relief to sharpen… partisan talking points.”

Schumer continued: “If there are good-faith amendments from the other side, we look forward to them.”

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