Wisconsin U.S. Senators split on American Rescue Plan Act

Published: Mar. 6, 2021 at 4:51 PM CST
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WASHINGTON, D.C. (WBAY) - Members of the U.S. Senate narrowly passed the American Rescue Plan Act Saturday by a 50-49 vote after being in session all night.

The $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill is nearly one-tenth the size of the entire U.S. economy, and would provide $1,400 checks for most Americans, and will also send money to schools, state and local governments, as well as for unemployment and businesses.

Other highlights include rental and homeowner assistance, tax breaks for households with and without kids, testing and vaccines and health care. CLICK HERE for details on those highlights.

Following the narrow vote, Wisconsin U.S. Senators Tammy Baldwin and Ron Johnson sounded off on the bill. Senator Johnson voted against the measure, while Senator Baldwin voted for it.

“This is not COVID relief - it is a massive debt burden that further mortgages our children’s future. I support helping people truly affected by the pandemic, but we should have targeted the unspent $1 trillion from previous bills first,” said Senator Johnson in a prepared statement. “The economy is already in a strong recovery, and this bill could spark harmful inflation. It was unneeded and unwise.”

“We have not beaten this pandemic and people are still struggling in Wisconsin. I have supported taking bold legislative action to provide help to Wisconsin families, schools, workers and small businesses and now we are providing that help,” said Senator Baldwin, also in a prepared statement. “The American Rescue Plan is the support Wisconsin needs right now to help us get past this public health crisis and move our economy forward.”

Due to amendments made in the Senate, the bill will return to the U.S. House of Representatives for another vote. If passed, the measure will go to President Joe Biden’s desk for his signature.

Members of the House passed a previous COVID-19 relief bill by a 219-212 vote on Saturday, February 27.

The House could vote on the measure as early as next week. Democrats want to send a final package to Biden by March 14, when an earlier round of emergency jobless benefits expires.

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