President Joe Biden is meeting with congressional Democrats Friday morning to discuss next steps in passing the president’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief proposal, after the Senateearly Friday morning — a key step toward approving the bill without any Republican support.
Vice President Kamala Harris cast the tie-breaking vote in passing the budget resolution around 5:30 a.m. after a lengthy “vote-a-rama” on dozens of amendments. Passing the resolution was an important step in the process known as budget reconciliation, which allows legislation to pass in the Senate with only a simple majority instead of the typical 60-vote threshold. The House passed the budget resolution earlier this week.
How to watch Biden and Harris discuss the American Rescue Plan today
- What: President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris discuss the American Rescue Plan and Mr. Biden makes remarks on the state of the U.S. economy
- Date: Friday, February 5, 2021
- Time: 9:45 a.m. ET: Mr. Biden and Harris meet with House Democratic leaders and the Chairs of the House committees working on the American Rescue Plan; 11:45 a.m.: Mr. Biden makes remarks on the need for the American Rescue Plan, and the state of the economy; 3 p.m.: Harris and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen hold a virtual roundtable with participants from local Black Chambers of Commerce from across the country about the American Rescue Plan.
- Online stream: Live on CBSN in the player above and on your mobile streaming device
After meeting with Democratic congressional leaders, Mr. Biden is then delivering remarks about the proposal, known as the “American Rescue Plan,” later Friday morning. Vice President Kamala Harris and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen will also hold a virtual roundtable with participants from local Black Chambers of Commerce from across the country to discuss the proposal on Friday afternoon.
Now that both houses of Congress have passed the budget resolution, which serves as the vehicle for the legislation, committees can begin formulating a reconciliation bill itself. The final reconciliation bill will receive 20 hours of debate, and then another “vote-a-rama” before a vote in both chambers.
The final proposal passed in Congress may not be as large as Mr. Biden’s initial $1.9 trillion plan. One amendment approved during the “vote-a-rama” on Friday morning rejected a major component of the Biden plan: raising the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour. In a voice vote, senators narrowly approved an amendment from Iowa Republican Joni Ernst that would ban the increase during a pandemic. The increase could be restored when the final measure is hashed out.
Meanwhile, Mr. Biden has continued talks with a group of 10 Republican senators who have proposed a $600 billion relief plan. On Thursday, the groupquestioning the size of the president’s proposal, and encouraged the White House to continue bipartisan talks even as the budget reconciliation process moves forward.