The action came after a grueling all-night session, where senators voted on amendments that could define the contours of the eventual COVID-19 aid bill. The budget now returns to the House, where it will have to be approved again due to the changes made by the Senate.
The Democrats technically have the majority, counting the tie-breaking vote of Harris, but with the chamber split 50-50, Republicans — united — could hold up legislation in committees.
This also means that Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer may need to shore up the support from centrists in his caucus — including Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia — to ensure he has the 50 votes needed. He can’t lose one Democrat in his caucus in order to pass legislation.
Still, Harris indicated that she hopes her trips to the Senate Chamber are seldom, as she said the Biden administration instead aims for “common ground” on legislation through bipartisanship.
“The goal is to not have to pass everything with 51 votes,” a source told CNN. “If they’re going to be votes in the Senate where the outcome isn’t known … She basically has to stay in DC. International trips, national trips to small businesses or wherever — that can’t really be happening, which is a new dynamic they’re going to have to deal with.” Posted by Abdul