How long will relief bill votes in the Senate keep going? Unclear.
Democratic drama over unemployment benefits is snagging the Senate’s coronavirus relief debate.
The Senate has been stuck in a state of limbo for hours as senators try to figure out the path forward on 10 weekly unemployment payments.
Senators have filed two competing unemployment proposals: One, from Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), would provide $300 per week through mid-July, a significantly shorter timeline than what’s supported by most Democrats.
The second, from Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), would provide a $300 weekly payment through September.
That’s a change from the House bill, which provided $400 per week through August. But Democrats unveiled the agreement earlier Friday, characterizing it as a deal worked out by their moderate and progressive factions.
In order for Democrats to attach their proposal to the coronavirus bill, they would need the support of all 50 members of their caucus and Vice President Harris to break a tie.
But in a significant snag, Portman told reporters that he believes he can get the support of all 50 GOP senators and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) to vote for his proposal.
“I think so,” Portman said, asked if he has the entire GOP caucus and Manchin.