Biden news: $1.9 trillion Covid relief bill passes Senate as Trump demands RNC stops using his name

Democrat Senator’s dramatic ‘no’ vote on $15 minimum wage

Applause broke out as Senate Democrats approved a massive Covid relief bill worth $1.9 trillion, after a marathon overnight vote and last-minute haggling between Democrats on issues like unemployment benefits.

Whilst the Capitol buzzes with the ongoing bill and its related stories, other corners of the building see President Biden fire Trump-hire Sharon Gustafson, general counsel of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), after she refused to resign from her post.

Looking to another side of US Politics, former President Trump has submitted a cease-and-desist order for the use of his name and likeness to three major fundraisers for the Republican Party, as he is displeased that organisations that supported Republicans in their efforts to impeach him are using him as a campaigning tool.


Good morning and welcome to The Independent’s rolling coverage of developments from Washington, where discussions are ongoing over a landmark Covid relief bill that the new president, Joe Biden, is keen to pass to help support Americans and the US economy as it reels from the pandemic.

Tom Batchelor6 March 2021 10:25


Senate breaks Covid deadlock – but $15 minimum wage rejected

A deal has been struck in the US Senate to implement a $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package.

But Republicans and eight Democrats rejected Senator Bernie Sanders’ amendment to include a $15 minimum wage in the bill.

Tom Batchelor6 March 2021 10:26


Trump’s former home listed for sale at $49 million

A company registered for former President Donald Trump and his family has listed their ocean-front Florida mansion for sale for $49 million (£35.4 million).

The property sits just next door to Mr Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club, the former President’s current residence.

Estate agent Guy Clarke told Bloomberg news: “Because of its proximity and its lack of privacy, it would probably be a difficult thing to sell to someone who’s not a Trump supporter. It’s great for a Trump supporter to own that house and have the accessibility to Trump and his world. For that type of person, it’s the right house.”

The property was bought by $18.2 million (£ 13.1 million) in 2014 to a company led by Trump’s eldest sons, Donald Jr and Eric. It is listed as an asset of Trump in financial disclosure documents, the Palm Beach Daily News reports.

Bethany Dawson6 March 2021 10:39


European Union to request US AstraZeneca vaccine supply to be sent to Europe

The European Union will urge the United States to export millions of doses of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine to Europe, highlighting Brussels’ push to bridge supply shortfalls, the Financial Times is reporting.

The report also states the EU is also requesting that Washington ensures the free flow of crucial vaccine ingredients needed to mend the gap in European production.

“We trust that we can work together with the U.S. to ensure that vaccines produced or bottled in the U.S. for the fulfilment of vaccine producers’ contractual obligations with the EU will be fully honoured”, the newspaper quoted the European Commission as saying.

“We are working 24/7 to improve delivery and hopefully catch up to the expectations for Q2,” AstraZeneca’s CEO Pascal Soriot told EU lawmakers in a public hearing in February.

On 5 March, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said roughly 55.5 million people have received at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine (17 per cent of the population) in America, including about 28.7 million people who have been fully vaccinated.

Bethany Dawson6 March 2021 11:12


What does the agreed deal entail?

After nine-hours of debated amendments whilst watching day turn into night, a deal on President Biden’s Covid Relief Bill has been made.

  • Individuals earning less than $75,000 (£54,1907) annually will receive $1400 every month
  • Supplemental unemployment benefit will be extended until September
  • The White House Press Office also state funding will be directed to funding the vaccine rollout and opening the schools

Bethany Dawson6 March 2021 11:48


Watch Democrat Senator’s dramatic ‘no’ vote on $15 minimum wage

One of the votes made in the “vote-a-rama” stage of the passing the Covid-19 Relief Bill through the senate was on Senator Bernie Sanders’ amendment to introduce a $15 (£10.84) minimum wage.

The amendment did not pass, with 58 senators voting in rejection of the wage.

One particularly dramatic vote against Mr Sanders’ proposal came from Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema, who can be seen pledging her view with an illustrative thumbs down.

Democrat Senator’s dramatic ‘no’ vote on $15 minimum wage

This vote meant breaking with fellow Arizona Senator Mark Kelly, who voted in favour of the Sen Bernie Sanders-led measure.

Ms Sinema was one of eight Democrats to have crossed party lines and vote against the debate.


Donald Trump and Jared Kushner have barely spoken since leaving the White House

A report has revealed that Former President Donald Trump and Jared Kushner – once considered one of the President’s closest advisors as well as his son-in-law – have barely spoken since President Biden has taken office.

It is reported that Mr Trump partially blames Mr Kushner, husband of his daughter Ivanka, for his election loss, with CNN citing anonymous sources that said the former president’s son-in-law was “checked out of politics” after leaving Washington in January.

Mr Kushner did not take part in Mr Trump’s planning for the Conservative Political Action Conference last week, where the former president hinted a potential run in 2024 while describing the first month of the Biden administration as “disastrous”.  

Bethany Dawson6 March 2021 12:34


Biden enjoys public support whilst bill passes through senate

A new poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. has shown that 60 per cent of Americans approve of his performance as President so far, with more supporting his handling of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Despite tense political polarization across the country, 70 per cent of Americans back the Democratic president’s handling of the virus response, including 44 per cent of Republicans.

As a deal on Biden’s Covid-19 relief bill has been approved by the Senate, the new President will be hoping for the same electoral support in the House as he will need a majority of votes for the bill to pass.

Bethany Dawson6 March 2021 13:14


Poet Amanda Gorman – who performed at Biden’s inauguration in January – has revealed that she was racially profiled outside her Los Angeles apartment after being followed home.

Ms Gorman, 22, who came to national attention after she became the youngest to perform at a presidential inauguration, disclosed the incident in a post on Twitter on Friday evening.

“A security guard tailed me on my walk home tonight. He demanded if I lived there because ‘you look suspicious.’ I showed my keys & buzzed myself into my building,” Gorman wrote.

Bethany Dawson6 March 2021 13:35


What amendments were proposed to the Covid-19 Relief Bill?

The Senate vote on amendments to Biden’s Covid relief bill – which stood at a record 11 hours and 50 minutes – did little to change what the bill eventually looked like.

Here’s a whistle-stop tour of some of the amendments that were reviewed last night in the “vote-a-rama”:

  • Senator Susan Collins, unsuccessfully sought to bring forth an alternative Republican proposal of $650 billion in aid, which Biden had panned as inadequate.
  • Senator Bernie Sanders proposed an amendment to hike the national minimum wage to $15 an hour. This amendment failed 58-42
  • An amendment from Senator Maggie Hassan did pass, which would require schools – within 30 days of receiving money from the bill – to craft publicly available plans for in-person instruction.

Bethany Dawson6 March 2021 13:50

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