Democrats Celebrate Passage of $1.9 Trillion Coronavirus Bill: ‘This Is Just the Start of What Congress Can Do’

In this image from video, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of N.Y., leads a round of applause for support staff as he speaks before the final vote on the Senate version of the COVID-19 relief bill in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Saturday, March 6, 2021. (Senate …
Senate Television via AP

Democrat senators celebrated the upper chamber’s passage of the $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief measure on Saturday, framing it as “just the start of what Congress can do” moving forward.

The Senate passed the controversial $1.9 coronavirus relief bill on party lines Saturday, 50-49. Republican Rep. Dan Sullivan (R-AK) was not present for the vote, traveling home for a family emergency.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) celebrated the measure’s passage as “historic,” labeling it a “powerful” bill that will “make a real difference.”

“This is just the start of what Congress can do for working families. We must raise the minimum wage to $15/hr. We need to invest in infrastructure, k-12 education, and a clean energy economy,” she said, vowing to fight with “every tool in the toolbox to help our families and economy recover”:

“The American Rescue Plan has PASSED, Rep. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) said, stating that Democrats promised more “shots in people’s arms,” money in people’s pockets,” “children in schools,” and “workers in jobs.”

“We’re following through on that promise,” he said:

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) described the legislation as “the most significant piece of legislation to benefit working families in the modern history of this country.”

“This package, among many other things, increases direct payments by $1400, extends unemployment benefits, reduces child poverty by half, ensures we are vaccinating as many people as possible, and puts us on a path to safely reopen schools,” he remarked:

“We just passed a COVID-19 relief bill that will provide immediate support to Arizona working families and small businesses, help reopen schools safely, get vaccines into peoples’ arms, and get our economy back on track,” Sen. Mark Kelly (D-AZ) said upon the bill’s passing as other Democrat senators celebrated the legislative victory:

Republican lawmakers in both chambers have continued to warn against the bill, contending the vast majority of the measure is devoted to issues unrelated to the Chinese coronavirus pandemic.

“I want to put up a chart so you can get a good idea of how little the Democrat bill is actually going to fight the virus. Here’s what 91 percent of the bill, trillions of hardworking taxpayers’ money is funding,” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) told reporters last week:

Nancy Pelosi’s subway, which was increased by another $40 million, but kids are marking the one-year anniversary of not being in school, for a subway just outside her district. That money won’t be held up. Blue state bailouts so they can keep their economy shut down, changing the funding mechanism to reward states that were shut down, Planned Parenthood, universities with massive endowments, Harvard, Harvard with billions of dollars in endowment will get money in this. But to help the children for depression and anxiety, there’s an opportunity to do that. This isn’t a relief bill. It takes care of Democrats’ political allies while it fails to deliver for American families. That is why I’ll be voting no on the Pelosi payoff bill.

Less than nine percent of the House-passed bill, he said, will go toward public health.


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