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Senate leaders, Manchin agree on virus bill jobless benefits

Joe Manchin, John Cornyn
Posted at 3:35 PM, Mar 05, 2021

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate leaders and moderate Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin have struck a deal over emergency jobless benefits, breaking a nine-hour logjam that had stalled the party’s showpiece $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill.

The compromise, announced by the West Virginia lawmaker and a Democratic aide, seems to clear the way for the Senate to begin a climactic, marathon series of votes expected to lead to approval of the sweeping legislation.

Democrats had already set aside one battle over boosting the minimum wage.

Manchin is probably the chamber’s most conservative Democrat, and a kingmaker in a 50-50 Senate that leaves his party without a vote to spare.