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Senate ‘vote-a-rama’ delayed as lawmakers negotiate possible changes to relief bill

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On Friday, the US Senate kicked off a marathon voting session – or a so-called vote-a-rama – on amendments to President Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package. Amendments require a simple majority to be added to the bill. What you need to know.

Voting was delayed Friday over proposed changes to unemployment insurance. Senator Sanders’ amendment to raise the minimum wage did not pass. Eight Democrats voted against the measure, which required 60 votes to pass. A vote on the entire bill is anticipated late Friday or early Saturday, reports say.

“People in the country are hurting right now, with less than two weeks from enhanced unemployment checks being cut out,” President Joe Biden said at a round table on Friday. “And 7 million kids don’t have enough food; 13 million people are behind in their rent.  And the American Rescue Plan, I believe — and according to the polling data, the vast majority of Americans believe — is essential to giving them some help and to turn it around.”

Democrats lowered the income caps for the $1,400 stimulus checks Wednesday. Here are the phase-out levels: $75,000 for single filers, capped at $80,000; $112,500 for heads of households, capped at $120,000; $150,000 for joint filers, capped at $160,000.

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