Democrats are all set to move forward with their COVID-19 relief bill, leaving Republicans in the dust.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Monday introduced a budget resolution bill that would allow them to pass President Biden's $1.9 trillion coronavirus stimulus with just a simple majority in both chambers. And on Tuesday, they got the final vote they needed to solidify that majority, as holdout Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) indicated he'd support the resolution.
Schumer and Pelosi filed a joint budget resolution for the 2021 Fiscal Year on Monday, taking the first step needed to introduce a Budget Reconciliation bill and pass the stimulus with just 50 votes in the Senate. Manchin seemed to complicate their plans, indicating he wanted a more targeted distribution of stimulus checks instead of a flat $1,400 sent to all Americans. But "because of the urgency of the COVID-19 crisis," Manchin said in a Tuesday statement he'd vote for the budget. He'd like Biden to focus on "Americans who have been impacted most by this pandemic" in the future, and said he "remains hopeful that we can have bipartisan support moving forward."
Manchin's change of heart comes after West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice (R), a strong supporter of former President Donald Trump and adversary of Manchin, indicated his support for the $1.9 trillion bill on Monday.
A group of 10 centrist Republican senators presented Biden with a $618 billion stimulus proposal on Monday that includes smaller stimulus checks, and leaves out local government funding. Pelosi and Schumer's move seems to indicate their plan is bust.
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