Kamala Harris Casts Tie-Breaking Vote In Senate To Start COVID-19 Relief Debate

Photographer: Ting Shen/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Henry Rodgers Chief National Correspondent
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Vice President Kamala Harris cast a tie-breaking vote Thursday in the Senate to begin the debate on President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID-relief package.

As the Senate was split 50-50 on the legislation, Harris cast the 51st vote with the Democrats to officially start the debate on the legislation. The American Rescue Plan, which passed the House in a 219-212 vote Saturday, includes $1,400 stimulus relief checks and $350 billion for state, local, and tribal government budgets.

President Joe Biden holds a meeting on cancer with Vice President Kamala Harris and other lawmakers in the Oval Office at the White House on March 3, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Getty Images)

The relief package also includes an expanded child tax credit and $130 billion to help K-12 schools reopen. Restaurants and bars will receive $25 billion in targeted aid if the bill is passed and signed into law. (RELATED: ‘Rules Don’t Apply To Us?’ — Democratic Rep. Kurt Schrader Slams Pelosi’s COVID Bill)

The bill was supposed to include a $15 minimum wage, but the Senate parliamentarian ruled that a $15 minimum wage provision could not be included in the relief package. (RELATED: COVID-19 Relief Package Could Send Up To $50 Million To Abortion Providers)

No Senate Republicans are expected to vote in favor of the legislation, which means every Democrat will be required to support it in order for it to pass.