President Joe Biden‘s popular American Rescue Plan passed the U.S. Senate on Saturday by a vote of 50 to 49, with zero votes from the Republican side of the aisle.
Alaska GOP Sen. Dan Sullivan had to leave town for a family emergency, so only 49 Republicans were available for the final vote. This eliminated the need for a tie-breaking vote from Vice President Kamala Harris.
Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan passed the U.S. Senate by a 50-49 vote, without a single Republican vote. pic.twitter.com/DLBPcOXmsd
— PoliticusUSA (@politicususa) March 6, 2021
While all GOP senators stood united against helping their own constituents in the middle of a public health and economic crisis, Democrats stood together and voted for the legislation.
The bill will now head back to the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives where it is likely to pass before ultimately ending up on Biden’s desk for approval.
Passage of the American Rescue Plan would be a massive political and substantive victory for Biden and Democrats who pledged during the campaign to enact a meaningful COVID relief package to help millions of Americans struggling.
Elections have consequences
It’s easy to be frustrated by the lawmaking process, particularly when folks like Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) temporarily hit the brakes on the bill to trim down some of the relief measures.
But the fact that a $1.9 trillion COVID rescue package is on the verge of being sent to the president’s desk is, to paraphrase Biden himself, a big freaking deal.
It also underscores just how important elections are. Had the Democrats not stunned the political world and won two Senate runoff elections in Georgia earlier this year, Biden’s rescue plan would have been dead on arrival.
Now, thanks to Democratic victories in Georgia, millions of Americans are on the verge of getting much-needed relief.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.