President Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan is finally moving forward in the Senate after Democrats announced late on Friday that they had reached a deal to reduce weekly unemployment benefits from $400 to $300 through September 6, as well as provide tax relief on benefits for households making under $150,000 a year.
Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia stalled the bill for 9 hours, insisting that the money to unemployed Americans who have been hurting for many months be reduced to $300 from the $400 weekly benefits that passed the House of Representatives last week.
Manchin released a statement late on Friday, saying, “Those making less than $150,000 and receiving unemployment will be eligible for $10,200 tax break. Unemployment benefits will be extended through the end of August.”
With a 50-50 Senate, Manchin who is referred to as a ‘moderate Democrat’ has continued to threaten President Biden’s agenda and nominees.
In a statement, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said President Biden supports the compromise agreement.
“The President supports the compromise agreement, and is grateful to all the Senators who worked so hard to reach this outcome. It extends supplemental unemployment benefit into September, and helps the vast majority of unemployment insurance recipients avoid unanticipated tax bills,” Psaki said. “Most importantly, this agreement allows us to move forward on the urgently needed American Rescue Plan, with $1400 relief checks, funding we need to finish the vaccine rollout, open our schools, help those suffering from the pandemic, and more.”