The House on Friday passed a budget resolution, mounting a key procedural hurdle and clearing a path for Congress to pass President Biden’s sweeping $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package.
The Senate passed the budget resolution earlier on Friday in a 51-50 vote along party lines, with Vice President Kamala Harris casting the tie-breaking vote.
Democrats plan to use a process called budget reconciliation to pass the hefty relief bill, which allows the legislation to be approved and sent to Biden’s desk with a simple majority of votes, rather than the 60 votes required for normal legislation, although that process is expected to last several weeks.
Biden indicated that he is leaning toward pushing the relief bill through without Republican support, pointing to a jobs report showing the economy flagging in January.
“If I have to choose between getting help right now to Americans who are hurting so badly and getting bogged down in a lengthy negotiation or compromising on a bill that’s up to the crisis, that’s an easy choice,” Biden said Friday at the White House. “I’m going to act and I’m going to act fast.”