The U.S. Senate unanimously passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act; this is the third phase of economic relief to an American economy battered by the first weeks of the coronavirus pandemic that has left more than half of the nation under orders to stay at home. The record-breaking, $2 trillion plan passed 96-0 just before midnight on Wednesday.
The House of Representatives is expected to take up the bill first thing Friday morning, C-SPAN reports.
The bill’s passage was slowed by the so-called Sasse Amendment, named for the Nebraska senator, who, along with a handful of other Republicans, insisted that people making low wages—South Carolina’s Lindsey Graham used nurses as an example—would be “incentivized” to choose the “supersized” unemployment benefits over work. The Sasse Amendment failed to pass, 48-48. West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin voted for the amendment, while Republicans Susan Collins of Maine and Cory Gardner of Colorado voted against.
Why wasn’t the vote 100-0? Kentucky Republican Rand Paul has tested positive for COVID-19, while South Dakota’s John Thune skipped the vote “out of an abundance of caution.” Utah’s Mike Lee and Mitt Romney are in quarantine.
Read a roundup of Daily Kos’ coronavirus coverage here.
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