Senate shatters record with longest vote in history as Democrats negotiated the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York). AP Photo / Jacquelyn Martin
A vote on Friday on Capitol Hill became the longest vote in modern Senate history.
The vote on a Sanders-sponsored change in the minimum wage was held open for 11 hours and 50 minutes.
The expanded open vote was attributed to a democratic struggle to get votes for future amendments.
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While Senators anticipated a frenzied day on Friday as Democrats tried to push through their $ 1.9 trillion stimulus proposal, a vote to change the minimum wage actually became the longest Senate vote in the Senate, according to The Hill modern history.
The Senate began voting on an amendment by Independent Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont on Friday at 11:03 a.m. to raise the minimum wage from its current $ 7.25 to $ 15.
The vote was officially closed at 10:53 p.m., which means it was kept open for a record of 11 hours and 50 minutes by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York.
Previously, the minutes were kept by a vote in June 2019 on an amendment to the annual law on the approval of the defense by the then Sen. Tom Udall from New Mexico held open for 10 hours and eight minutes.
The $ 15 minimum wage demand previously created a rift between Democrats. Moderate Sens. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona and Joe Manchin of West Virginia declined to include the increase in the bill before the Senate MP ruled that the provision was not possible. t be added due to non-compliance with the rules of budgetary voting.
As part of the reconciliation process, Democrats can pass the COVID-19 Aid Act with the help of Vice President Kamala Harris's runoff in a party line.
The expanded open vote, however, was attributed to the democratic majority struggle to get votes for future amendments to the auxiliary law during the free for all "vote" that consumed the Senate.
Ohio GOP Senator Rob Portman proposed an amendment that would have extended unemployment benefits until July 18, a few weeks before the August 29 extension passed in the House version of the bill.
When Manchin expressed interest in the amendment, he threatened the fragile Democratic coalition with 50 votes.
Later that day, South Dakota Minority Whip, John Thune of the GOP Senate, met with Portman and Manchin on the phone. Manchin also spoke to Schumer and President Joe Biden, who is himself a 36-year Senate negotiating veteran, to try to break the impasse.
Ultimately, Manchin and his Democratic counterparts forged a compromise that extended the current $ 300 weekly unemployment benefit through September 6, while also providing tax relief for the first $ 10,200 in unemployment benefits for households with incomes less than $ 150,000 .
"We have reached a compromise that will allow the economy to recover quickly while protecting those on unemployment benefits from facing an unexpected tax burden next year," Manchin said in a statement.
The Senate eventually rejected Sanders' motion to reintroduce the minimum wage increase into the COVID-19 bill. it failed in a 42-58 vote.
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