The Senate voted to pass President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) (H.R.1319) along party lines (50-49) this afternoon. The revised ARPA now heads back to the House for approval. Final passage is expected early next week, ahead of the March 14 deadline when unemployment benefits extended under the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 expire. The House is not expected to make further changes to the legislation.
The Senate concluded its vote-a-rama on the ARPA earlier today after approximately 25 hours of debate. The process stalled for the first 11 hours while Democrats negotiated changes to unemployment insurance provisions. The vote on Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-VT) amendment to raise the federal minimum wage, which failed (42-58), was held open for the duration of the negotiations setting a record for the longest vote in Senate history. As an update to our vote-a-rama alert yesterday, click here to see our final tracker, which reflects descriptions of the amendments, notes on discussion and final votes.
Senators brought 31 amendments to the floor for a vote and adopted eight. Approved amendments will reduce the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation payments from $400 per week through Aug. 29 to $300 per week through Sept. 6, require that school districts create a reopening plan within 30 days of receiving federal support funds, and authorize $800 million to support homeless children, among other changes. The chamber also considered 18 motions to commit, none of which were approved.
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