Democrats Seek to Trim Jobless Aid to Keep Stimulus Plan on Track



With the vote still pending after more than eight hours on Friday because of the impasse over the jobless aid, the measure to increase the minimum wage to $15 by 2025 had attracted only 42 supporters — and 58 opponents.

“If anybody thinks that we’re giving up on this issue, they are sorely mistaken,” Mr. Sanders told reporters. “If we have to vote on it time and time again, we will — and we’re going to succeed.”

While Republicans had made it clear they were ready to draw out debate on the stimulus package with all manner of amendments that were doomed to fail, it was also clear on Friday that there were issues far more significant than a minority united in opposition. Lawmakers in both parties quickly focused on Mr. Manchin, who has repeatedly called for the overall bill to be more targeted and who singled out the unemployment provision as an example.

It remained unclear precisely what concerns Mr. Manchin had with Democrats’ proposed compromise, whether it was merely the size and duration of the payments or a new provision that would forgive up to $10,200 in taxes on unemployment benefits received through in 2020.

Nor was it apparent whether he would instead endorse an alternative amendment by Senator Rob Portman, Republican of Ohio, that would keep the jobless payments at $300 and cut back the duration of the program, setting an end date through July 18.

“There’s bipartisan support for what Rob’s trying to do, and Manchin’s getting beat up by his side — you know, they’re trying to sort of get him into line so to speak,” Senator John Thune, Republican of South Dakota, told reporters. He added, “I think right now, arms are being twisted.”

At one point on the Senate floor, a few Democrats appeared to be engaged in an impassioned discussion about the provision with Mr. Manchin. The group at times included Senators Richard J. Durbin of Illinois, the No. 2 Senate Democrat, Brian Schatz of Hawaii, Catherine Cortez Masto of Nevada, Jon Tester of Montana and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona.


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