IN Focus: President awaits relief package after party-line approval in Senate

Politics

WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — After an all-night session, the Senate gave President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package its stamp of approval.

“This plan puts us on a path to beating the virus. This plan gives those families who are struggling, the most, the help and the breathing room they need to get through this moment,” President Biden said.

“I knew we’d get this done,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said the President’s plan will now bring much-needed relief to Americans.

“We said no matter what happened, we would not stop and power through and get it done. And by god we did,” Schumer said.

The plan includes $1400 stimulus checks, funding for increased vaccine distribution, aid to small businesses, and extended unemployment benefits. Pennsylvania Senator Bob Casey said this bill is a long time coming.

“It’s a giant step in the right direction, and I think the American people should have a right to expect that we pass bills like this,” Casey said.

But Republicans were not pleased with the result.

“Their top priority wasn’t pandemic relief, it was their Washington wish list,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said.

McConnell says the bill barely does anything for COVID-19 relief and is not bipartisan.

“We could’ve worked together, to speed up victory. But our democratic colleagues made a decision,” McConnell said. 

The House must now consider the bill again, but it’s expected to pass and head on to President Biden’s desk before current benefits expire in just over a week. 

In the video above, we hear from Sen. Mike Braun (R-IN) and Rep. Jim Baird (R-IN) who spoke with our Washington Bureau in recent days.

And in the video below, we hear from a group of local advocates that were pushing for the bill’s passage, including the Indiana Institute for Working Families, whose president spoke with us during an interview with other local advocates on Friday.

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