The Senate voted to start proceedings on the American Rescue Plan (the upcoming COVID relief plan moving through the reconciliation process). Zero Republicans voted to bring it to the floor. All of the Democrats voted for it and VP Kamala Harris broke the tie. As expected, this will be exhaustingly partisan.
Senator Schumer started the process by proposing the manager's amendment which makes changes between the House and Senate versions of the bill to create the Senate version of the bill. There was hope (and advocacy) around getting UI extended through October 3 as part of this amendment, but they did not include it. None of the UI provisions changed in this Senate version. Changes relevant to our mission include:
COBRA subsidies increased from 85% to 100%
Stimulus checks tier off more quickly for people who made over $75K in income
Ron Johnson of Wisconsin ordered that proceedings start with a full reading of the bill. No one is listening to or would be able to digest the full reading so it is entirely theatrics enacted in order to delay the bill. Ron Johnson has been extremely obstructionist throughout this process.
The process for this bill moving through the Senate:
1. The Senate votes on the motion to proceed (Done!)
2. Senate Democrats offer the manager's amendment which is the Senate substitute for the House bill. (Done!)
3. Reading of the bill/manager's amendment - (In Progress, likely 8-10 hours.)
4. 20 hours of debate: 10 for Democrats and 10 for Republicans. Either side can yield back some of that time. They can also call up amendment during this time.
5. Vote-a-rama - Amendments voted on one after another. This ends when there are no more amendments proposed.
6. Vote for passage.
This whole process is likely to go into Saturday.
There is a risk of people
After the bill passes the Senate (assuming it does), it will have to go back to the House with its changes for another vote and then it will go to the President.
Here is the full bill text.
We will continue to update this post with relevant progress.
Call your Senators and make sure they know your priorities for this bill. Scripts and phone numbers at ExtendPUA.org/call. And jump on Twitter and retweet some of our tweets or send out your own - don't forget to tag your legislators!