They’re still at it.
Senators worked through Friday night and were still chugging along Saturday morning trying to hammer out the details of President Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief bill.
“We are not going to be timid in the face of big challenges. We are not going to delay when urgent action is called for. The Senate will move forward today,” Sen. Majority Leader Chuck Schumer told whatever colleagues had elected to join him in the Senate chamber at 7:15 a.m.
“The Senate is going to take a lot of votes, but we are going to power through and finish this bill now matter how long it takes,” he added.
Senate leaders shot down more than a dozen last minute amendments Friday from Republican colleagues, a process which continued into Saturday and significantly dragged out the bill’s passage in the Democratically-controlled chamber.
Schumer’s assessment was markedly at odds with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who also took the lectern during the 7 a.m. hour.
“They are dead set on ramming through an ideological spending spree packed with non COVID related polices,” he said, insisting the bill was a porker, overwhelmingly designed to feed pet liberal priorities and bail out poorly run state and local governments.
New York is on track to receive as much as $70 billion in emergency aid from the bill.
“Our country is already set for a roaring recovery,” McConnell said. “Democrats inherited a tide that was already turning. We could have worked together to do something smart to finish this right as fast as possible. Democrats decided to do something else.”
Democrats control the chamber with the thinnest of margins, and have struggled to keep their caucus all on the same page.
A final Senate vote on the bill is expected Saturday.