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The covid-19 aid bill was approved in the Senate

The Senate approved President Joe Biden's $ 1.9 trillion covid relief plan on Saturday after a night of voting and a 12-hour fight to get Democratic Senator Joe Manchin to support the party's plan on a critical issue.

The vote was 50-49.

Now the bill returns to the House of Representatives for a separate vote before President Biden signs it into law.

It is expected to be approved next week. The $ 1.9 trillion bill includes stimulus checks for many Americans amid the coronavirus pandemic. Democrats have faced fierce pressure to stick together and pass the government's top legislative priority before March 14, when unemployment benefits will expire for millions of Americans. But West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin's unexpected opposition on Friday to a Democratic deal that would increase unemployment benefits paralyzed the Senate, prompting a vigorous lobbying effort between the two parties.

Democrats held a roll call vote open in the Senate for 11 hours and 50 minutes, the longest in recent history, as Manchin signaled that he would accept the less generous proposal from Republicans. The dispute was a sign of the power of the centrist Democrat in the 50-50 Senate, where Democrats control the narrowest possible majority, and an example of how a single senator can derail the president's agenda. Republican Senator Dan Sullivan had to leave Friday to return home to Alaska for a family funeral, leaving Republicans with just 49 votes for no.

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