Senate Republicans are getting what’s expected to be a short-lived win in a fight over unemployment benefits in Democrats’ nearly $1.9 trillion coronavirus bill.
Sen. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinOvernight Defense: Capitol Police may ask National Guard to stay | Biden’s Pentagon policy nominee faces criticism | Naval Academy midshipmen moved to hotels Progressives won’t oppose bill over limits on stimulus checks Senate votes to take up COVID-19 relief bill MORE (D-W.Va.) voted with all 49 Republican senators — Sen. Dan SullivanDaniel Scott SullivanThe Hill’s Morning Report – Presented by The AIDS Institute – Finger-pointing on Capitol riot; GOP balks at Biden relief plan Sanders votes against Biden USDA nominee Vilsack Senate confirms Vilsack as Agriculture secretary MORE (Alaska) is absent due to a family emergency — in support of a proposal from Sen. Rob PortmanRobert (Rob) Jones PortmanMandel gets Club for Growth nod in Ohio Senate primary Rick Scott caught in middle of opposing GOP factions Five takeaways from dramatic Capitol security hearing MORE (R-Ohio) to provide a $300 per week unemployment payment through mid-July.
But Democrats are expected to strip out Portman’s amendment and replace it with a deal they announced on Friday night, after a nearly 12-hour delay, before they pass the coronavirus deal likely on Saturday.
Democrats are still waiting for a Joint Committee on Taxation score about the cost of the Democratic proposal, which would provide a $300 per week payment through Sept. 6.
“We expect Senator Portman to offer his UI amendment and for it to pass. However, it will be superseded by Senate Democrats’ new UI agreement, which will be offered and passed as an amendment tonight,” a Democratic aide said about the path forward.
Though Manchin supported Portman’s amendment, he’s also expected to support the Democratic deal. In addition to the weekly payment, the Democratic amendment will let the first $10,200 in unemployment benefits be tax free for households with incomes of up to $150,000.
“We have reached a compromise that enables the economy to rebound quickly while also protecting those receiving unemployment benefits from being hit with [an] unexpected tax bill next year,” Manchin said in a statement endorsing the Democratic deal.
Democrats effectively put the debate on the coronavirus bill on hold for nearly 12 hours Friday as they tried to craft an agreement on the unemployment payments that could win over the entire caucus.
Democrats had initially said on Friday morning that they had a deal to provide a $300 per week payment until early October.
But as they day dragged on it became clear that they were still trying to wrangle together the caucus.
Majority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerRon Johnson forces reading of 628-page Senate coronavirus relief bill on floor Senate panel splits along party lines on Becerra House Democrats’ ambitious agenda set to run into Senate blockade MORE (D-N.Y.) argued once the…
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