Live updates: Republicans slam $1.9T Covid relief package as conglomeration of ‘pricey partisan pet projects’

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Senate Republicans are slamming what they call the “pricey partisan pet projects” and “Democratic wish list items” embedded in the House’s relief package put forth by the Biden administration, saying that “most of the $1.9 trillion” within the legislation has “absolutely nothing to do” with the pandemic.

House Democrats passed the coronavirus relief bill on a mostly party-line vote early Saturday, sending the massive package to the Senate as lawmakers rush to provide a fresh round of aid before key unemployment programs expire.

The legislation will now headed to the Senate. The Senate could move as soon as this week to pass its own version of the bill, which would look slightly different from the House proposal — most notably excluding the $15 minimum wage increase after the parliamentarian ruled that its inclusion violates budget rules.

Democrats are using a procedural tool known as budget reconciliation to pass the legislation without any Republican support and are therefore limited as to what provisions they can include. And given their thinnest-possible majority in the Senate, the party needs to secure the support of all 50 members across the ideological spectrum, with Vice President Kamala Harris then able to cast a tie-breaking vote.

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