WASHINGTON (AP) — An exhausted Senate has narrowly approved a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill.
The vote means that President Joe Biden and his Democratic allies have notched a victory that they say is crucial for hoisting the country out of the pandemic and its economic doldrums.
Final passage came after the Senate voted all night on a mountain of amendments.
Nearly all were from Republicans and were rejected.
“We tell the American people, help is on the way,” said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. Citing the country’s desire to resume normalcy, he added, “Our job right now is to help our country get from this stormy present to that hopeful future.”
Senate passage sets up final congressional approval by the House next week so lawmakers can send it to Biden for his signature.
The huge package — its total spending is nearly one-tenth the size of the entire U.S. economy — is Biden’s biggest early priority. It stands as his formula for addressing the deadly virus and a limping economy, twin crises that have afflicted the country for a year.