But Manchin is also intrigued by a proposal from Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), which would extend unemployment benefits by $ 300 until July 18 – and amount to a reduction of both the Carper proposal and the Bill. from the room. On Friday afternoon, Manchin spoke by phone with Portman as the intrigue increased and the Senate stalled.
“There is bipartisan support for what Rob is trying to do. And Manchin is getting beaten up by his side. They are trying to get him in line, so to speak. And he is trying to do the right thing,” the whip said. from the minority in the Senate, John Thune. (RS.D.). “He knows the Portman Amendment saves a lot of money and is better policy. But Democrats in his caucus obviously don’t want to give Republicans a bipartisan victory on this point.”
Thune said he believed Portman’s proposal could pass despite skepticism from some Tories about any additional federal unemployment compensation. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) Said he did not know where Manchin’s vote was. He said Democrats “don’t want” the Portman amendment: “We want this to be over.”
The Carper proposal, hatched by moderate and progressive Democrats, also links the expiration of unemployment benefits to the current expiration of government funding at the end of September. But a vote on the measure was delayed because of the senses. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), Jon Tester (D-Mont.) And Catherine Cortez-Masto (D-Nev.) Had a heated discussion with Manchin in the Senate.
Sinema told Manchin that he could theoretically vote for both Carper’s Democratic Amendment and Portman’s GOP Amendment in an effort to end the impasse. The two parties are arguing over the order in which to organize the amendment votes.
Democrats said they were concerned that the approval of the GOP’s changes to unemployment benefits would require another round of negotiations with the House and Biden. This would risk pushing consideration of the bill closer to March 14, when the current round of increased benefits is about to expire.
“If it gets to a certain level, it might have to renegotiate with the House and the White House, then it will have to come back to the Senate. And that’s not a desirable outcome, “said Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.).” Time is running out, so timing is pretty important. “
The Democratic compromise is backed by the White House, with Chief of Staff Ron Klain and press secretary Jen Psaki both tweeting statements of support.
“The president believes it is essential to extend unemployment benefits until the end of September to help struggling Americans,” Psaki said, noting that the deal “will ultimately bring more relief to the unemployed. “than the legislation last adopted by the House. week.
Five hours after the Senate’s First Amendment vote on minimum wage, which began on Friday morning, there was no final appeal as Democrats continued to fight for unemployment benefits. And there is still a lot of drama to come, with the GOP seeking to inflict maximum political pain. This long ordeal, known as the ‘vote-a-rama’, is widely despised by members of both parties and guaranteed to leave sleepless members running on the fumes just before the bill passes through the Upper House. , probably Saturday. But there is no getting around it.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer on Friday vowed that the Senate “would come to power and complete this bill, however long it takes.”
“It would be so much better if we could do it in a bipartisan way, but we have to do it,” he said on the floor. “We’re not going to make the same mistake we made after the last economic downturn, when Congress did too little.
The race for legislative endurance – which allows any member to propose an amendment and order an endless recorded vote – is part of the budget reconciliation process, which Democrats are using to pass Biden’s plan without needing support of the GOP. Once the vote is over, Senate Democrats could pass the bill on Saturday, with Vice President Kamala Harris as the deciding vote. The amended remedial bill would then be sent back to the House, which must approve the changes before sending the bill to the President’s office.
The first amendment to raise the minimum wage to $ 15 an hour by 2025 – proposed by Senate Budget Chairman Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) – was on track to fail as expected, illustrating a wider rift on the issue between progressives and moderates within the Democratic Party. caucus.