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US Senate approves $1.9trn Covid-19 aid bill after 50-50 vote
By Alexander Bueso
Date: Friday 05 Feb 2021
LONDON (ShareCast) - (Sharecast News) - America's Senate narrowly approved the Biden administration's $1.9trn coronavirus aid package.
The government's new fiscal support measures were approved along partisan lines, with votes from Democrats and Republicans split right down the middle 50-50 and US vice president, Kamala Harris, casting the tie-breaking vote.
Lawmakers in the upper house of the US congress debated the measures for 15 hours, in part as Republicans tried to attach strings to any approval, including one amendment that would have reversed Biden's recent to block the Canada-US Keystone XL pipeline.
Republicans also voiced support for hydraulic fracking.
The House of Representatives, the lower chamber of Congress, had already approved the new aid bill two days before.
But the bill was set to go before the floor of the House on Friday morning where lawmakers would be asked to confirm the changes introduced by senators.
Those changes included more funding for hospitals in rural areas.
The budget bill also unblocked the so-called 'reconciliation' tool, which will allow Democrats and their 'independent' allies in the Senate to approve legislation with only a simple majority.