Vice President Kamala Harris Breaks Tie to Begin Senate Debate on COVID Relief

Senator Kamala Harris, Democrat of California, speaks during a press conference held by Senate Democrats
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Vice President Kamala Harris broke the tie to start the debate on President Biden’s $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan in the Senate last night, advancing the passage of the bill.

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“Every time VP Harris votes, America wins,” Congressman Ted Lieu tweeted last night.

And the Georgia Democrats tweeted,”Kamala Harris just broke the tie, advancing $1.9 trillion in COVID relief aid, 51-50. Georgia did this.”

While the vote is expected this weekend, Republicans who vowed to slow down the process include Sen. Ron Johnson, who announced Wednesday that he planned to force a reading of the full bill once it is formally proposed by Democrats, according to a statement. The reading of the 628-page bill could add 10 hours to the 20 hours allotted for debate, according to Forbes.

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“These are astonishing sums that we’re talking about and the majority party here wants to jam this through, through a reconciliation process, no consultation with our side. Just blow it through here, twenty hours of debate, a voterama, pass $1.9 trillion in spending, and go home,” Johnson said. “Having no consideration whatsoever of that fact that we are mortgaging our children’s future. At some point and time there will be a day of reckoning, a debt crisis, and it won’t be pretty.”

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In a statement on the Senate floor before the vote to proceed to the American Rescue Plan last night, House Majority Speaker Chuck Schumer said, “We are not going to delay when urgent action is called for. We are not going to quit before the race is won. We are going to sprint through the finish line. It’s time to move forward with this legislation — which will be one of the largest single antipoverty bills in recent history. It is a time to lift this country out of crisis and set it on a path to strong and swift recovery. It is time to tell the American people that help is on the way.

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About the Author

Yaël Bizouati-Kennedy is a former full-time financial journalist and has written for several publications, including Dow Jones, The Financial Times Group, Bloomberg and Business Insider. She also worked as a vice president/senior content writer for major NYC-based financial companies, including New York Life and MSCI. Yaël is now freelancing and most recently, she co-authored  the book “Blockchain for Medical Research: Accelerating Trust in Healthcare,” with Dr. Sean Manion. (CRC Press, April 2020) She holds two master’s degrees, including one in Journalism from New York University and one in Russian Studies from Université Toulouse-Jean Jaurès, France.

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