WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate has voted by the slimmest of margins to begin debating a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill. Democrats have made eleventh-hour changes in the measure aimed at ensuring they can pull President Joe Biden’s top legislative priority through the precariously divided chamber. Democrats hope for Senate approval of the package before next week. That would give the House time to sign off on it and get the measure to Biden quickly. They are encountering stiff opposition from Republicans arguing that the measure’s massive price tag ignores promising signs that the pandemic and wounded economy are turning around.
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