Senate GOP gets short-lived win on unemployment fight

Senate GOP gets short-lived win on unemployment fight
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Senate Republicans are getting what's expected to be a short-lived win in a fight over unemployment benefits in Democrats' nearly $1.9 trillion coronavirus bill.

Sen. Joe ManchinJoe ManchinBiden dispatches Cabinet members to sell infrastructure plan On The Money: Treasury creates hub to fight climate change | Manchin throws support behind union-backed PRO Act | Consumer bureau rolls out rule to bolster CDC eviction ban Miners union to back Biden on green energy if it retains jobs MORE (D-W.Va.) voted with all 49 Republican senators — Sen. Dan SullivanDaniel Scott SullivanTop officers believe they have 'zero' extremists in their forces Trump mocks Murkowski, Cheney election chances Congress must address the toxic exposure our veterans have endured MORE (Alaska) is absent due to a family emergency — in support of a proposal from Sen. Rob PortmanRobert (Rob) Jones PortmanHow to save the Amazon rainforest Biden to offer 22K additional guest worker visas, 6K targeted toward Northern Triangle GOP Rep. Steve Stivers plans to retire MORE (R-Ohio) to provide a $300 per week unemployment payment through mid-July.

But Democrats are expected to strip out Portman's amendment and replace it with a deal they announced on Friday night, after a nearly 12-hour delay, before they pass the coronavirus deal likely on Saturday.


Democrats are still waiting for a Joint Committee on Taxation score about the cost of the Democratic proposal, which would provide a $300 per week payment through Sept. 6.

"We expect Senator Portman to offer his UI amendment and for it to pass. However, it will be superseded by Senate Democrats’ new UI agreement, which will be offered and passed as an amendment tonight," a Democratic aide said about the path forward.

Though Manchin supported Portman's amendment, he's also expected to support the Democratic deal. In addition to the weekly payment, the Democratic amendment will let the first $10,200 in unemployment benefits be tax free for households with incomes of up to $150,000.

"We have reached a compromise that enables the economy to rebound quickly while also protecting those receiving unemployment benefits from being hit with [an] unexpected tax bill next year," Manchin said in a statement endorsing the Democratic deal.

Democrats effectively put the debate on the coronavirus bill on hold for nearly 12 hours Friday as they tried to craft an agreement on the unemployment payments that could win over the entire caucus.


Democrats had initially said on Friday morning that they had a deal to provide a $300 per week payment until early October.

But as they day dragged on it became clear that they were still trying to wrangle together the caucus.

Majority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerLawmakers react to guilty verdict in Chauvin murder trial: 'Our work is far from done' Overnight Health Care: Johnson & Johnson pause seen as 'responsible' in poll | Women turning out more than men for COVID-19 vaccines 'Real Housewives of the GOP' — Wannabe reality show narcissists commandeer the party MORE (D-N.Y.) argued once the Senate moved forward just before 11 p.m. that Democrats were united.

"The agreement that’s been reached will allow us to move forward with the American Rescue Plan," he said. "Senate Democrats are completely united in our belief about how important this entire bill is for our fellow Americans."