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In an interview, Manchin said he approves of the changes and does not intend to propose an amendment to change them. Republicans are expected to come up with their own similar amendment, however.

“It will be a good package that will help a lot of people. And it’s targeted. The bottom line is that it aims to reach people in need, ”said Manchin.

Asked about the compromise, President Nancy Pelosi said: “We are interested in seeing the full package when it is completed. So far, so good.”

This breakthrough indicates that the House and Senate are on the verge of making Biden’s top priority a reality. But there are still some slowdowns ahead, including an uncertain amendment process and simple GOP delays.

Senate Republicans expect a painful few days. Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin has told his colleagues that he wants the Clerk of the Senate to read the entire text of the bill, which would add hours to its review.

Asked what he would accomplish, Sen. John Barrasso of Wyoming said, “Senator Johnson will speak for himself on this.” Texas Senator John Cornyn said trying to dissuade Johnson from doing so is unlikely to be successful.

“Any senator who wants this to happen can do it,” said Cornyn. “I prefer to vote on the amendments. It was not my choice.

In the Senate, Schumer denounced Republicans for calling Biden’s bill a “liberal wish list,” noting that the package contains provisions from Republicans like Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio and moderate Democrats like Sen. Arizona’s Kyrsten Sinema.

“It’s an American wish list,” Schumer said on the floor. “When people want checks to help them get out of the quagmire, this is not a Liberal wish list. This is what the Americans want. “

At least one Republican senator has said she is not yet a firm no on the bill. Alaska’s Senator Lisa Murkowski attended a bipartisan lunch on Wednesday “listening to Lisa,” she said in an interview. Murkowski had lengthy discussions with the administration over his state’s economy during his review of Neera Tanden’s appointment as Biden’s budget chief.

“I can’t stand that after any of these things we moved on to last year, we’re looking at $ 1.9 trillion, a lot of which isn’t specifically dedicated to Covid relief,” a- she declared. “But I come from a state where people say, we need help Lisa. And we want to know how you can. “

The breakthrough in unemployment checks and benefits allowed Democrats to push through Biden’s bill as soon as possible. Biden urged the party to “swallow” provisions they don’t like at a virtual lunch on Tuesday, according to a Senate Democrat. Moderate Senators could move their weekly $ 300 proposal as an amendment later this week, while Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) Has said he plans to force a vote on a minimum hourly wage of $ 15.

The disagreement over unemployment benefits was not a big enough issue to derail, or even delay, party pressure for the swift passage of the $ 1.9 trillion pandemic relief bill.

These Democrats said they expected a relatively smooth process as they rushed to complete the bill before some increased unemployment benefits expired on March 14. The Senate hopes to send its version of the bill back to the House well in advance of this deadline in order to give states a head start on the logistics of extending these benefits.

Schumer has taken procedural steps to put legislation passed by the House on the ground, although the Senate will replace it in its own text before finalizing the vote. Among the things the Senate will remove from the House bill: the $ 15 minimum wage increase, as well as several transportation projects, all of which were dismissed by the non-partisan Senate parliamentarian.

Senate Democrats need their 50 members to kick off consideration of the bill, a vote expected Wednesday afternoon. After that, the chamber will dive into a long debate and end with a series of amendment votes that could last for hours, known as “vote-a-rama”.

Senate Republicans are debating the pain of doing things for Democrats, perhaps dragging the marathon of unlimited amendments overnight. It would likely happen late Thursday and end early Friday morning.

“I hope for infinity. There are people out there who talk about trying to set a schedule and keep it going indefinitely, ”said Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.).

Paul said some in his party wanted to push the debate well beyond Thursday and keep adding amendments until Friday, when he suggested that Schumer spread the pain over two days.

Asked about the potential timing of the ordeal, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said: “Probably late.”

“We’re going to work our way through this like we are doing in this process,” he told POLITICO.

Marianne LeVine contributed to this report.



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