WASHINGTON — As lawmakers superior President Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus bundle on Thursday, the Senate dealt a setback to a significant tenet of the plan: elevating the federal minimal wage to $15 an hour.

By a voice vote, senators backed an modification from Senator Joni Ernst, Republican of Iowa, to “prohibit the rise of the federal minimal wage throughout a world pandemic.” It was a sign that the wage hike can be troublesome to cross in an evenly break up Senate, the place not less than one Democrat, Senator Joe Manchin III of West Virginia, was on document opposing it.

“A $15 federal minimal wage can be devastating for our hardest-hit small companies at a time they’ll least afford it,” Ms. Ernst stated on the Senate flooring. “We must always not have a one-size-fits-all coverage set by Washington politicians.”

The Senate’s main proponent of the $15 minimal wage, Senator Bernie Sanders, unbiased of Vermont, appeared unfazed. He stated that his plan was to hold out the wage improve over 5 years and that he had by no means wished to boost it through the pandemic.

“We have to finish the disaster of hunger wages in Iowa and round the USA,” Mr. Sanders stated, taking a swipe at Ms. Ernst’s dwelling state. He added that he deliberate to attempt to get the phased-in wage improve included in a finances reconciliation invoice that will permit Mr. Biden’s stimulus plan to bypass the Senate’s 60-vote filibuster rule.

“At a time when half of our staff live paycheck to paycheck, when thousands and thousands of staff are incomes hunger wages and when Congress has not voted to boost the minimal wage since 2007, I’ll do all the pieces that I can to be sure that a $15-an-hour minimal wage is included on this reconciliation invoice,” Mr. Sanders stated.

The vote got here as Senate Democrats maneuvered by a collection of politically difficult amendments that Republicans wished to connect to a virus aid bundle and lawmakers pressed ahead with a finances plan that features Mr. Biden’s $1.9 trillion financial support proposal.

In a marathon session — often called a vote-a-rama and for which greater than 800 amendments have been drafted — that was anticipated to stretch into early Friday morning, senators in each events pushed ahead take a look at votes to showcase their dueling priorities. In an evenly break up Senate, any modification required the bulk’s assist to cross, and due to this fact a number of failed on a 50-to-50 tie.

Among the many Republican proposals that didn’t garner sufficient assist have been measures to cut back funding to states like New York, which is underneath investigation over coronavirus deaths in nursing properties; to ban funding for faculties that don’t reopen for in-person lessons as soon as lecturers are vaccinated; and to dam funds from so-called sanctuary jurisdictions that don’t cooperate with federal legislation enforcement.

Senator Patty Murray, Democrat of Washington and the chairwoman of the schooling committee, known as the hassle to place restrictions on sending support to colleges “merely a political present.”

“If we withhold funds and faculties can’t implement well being security protocols, then we’re appearing counter to truly getting college students again within the classroom,” Ms. Murray stated.

Democrats did, nonetheless, rally round some amendments from Republicans. The Senate, by unanimous vote, agreed to a movement from Senators Marco Rubio and Rick Scott, each Republicans of Florida, to dam tax will increase on small companies through the pandemic. Lawmakers additionally backed a measure from Senator Roger Wicker, Republican of Mississippi, and Senator Kyrsten Sinema, Democrat of Arizona, to ascertain a fund to offer grants to meals and consuming institutions affected by the coronavirus disaster. And, by a vote of 58 to 42, they agreed to ban stimulus cash from going to undocumented immigrants — one thing that isn’t included in Mr. Biden’s financial rescue plan.

The eight Democrats who voted with Republicans on that final measure included John Hickenlooper of Colorado, Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire, Gary Peters of Michigan and Mr. Manchin.

The Senate additionally permitted an modification to take care of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem. Below President Donald J. Trump, the USA recognized Jerusalem because the capital of Israel, breaking with many years of precedent, and opened a new embassy within the metropolis, complicating peace within the Center East.

Solely three lawmakers objected to the modification on Thursday night time: Mr. Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Democrat of Massachusetts, and Thomas R. Carper, Democrat of Delaware.

On the Senate flooring on Wednesday within the lead-up to Thursday’s votes, Senator Brian Schatz, Democrat of Hawaii, dismissed all the endeavor as a strategy to “attempt to set one another up, that we’ll by some means trick somebody into taking a foul place that may be become a marketing campaign commercial.”

“Everyone ought to ignore it if they’ll. Do something to not watch vote-a-rama,” Mr. Schatz stated. “It’s boring and it’s the worst a part of the USA Senate.”

Among the many amendments that handed with bipartisan assist — by a vote of 99 to 1 — on Thursday was a measure from Mr. Manchin and Senator Susan Collins, Republican of Maine, to limit $1,400 direct checks included in Mr. Biden’s plan from going to excessive earners, although it didn’t specify what revenue stage was too excessive. Democrats have largely agreed to restrict payouts for Individuals with greater incomes.

“Do we would like stimulus checks to go to households with household incomes of $300,000?” Ms. Collins stated.

Regardless of the amendments, the method left Mr. Biden’s plan largely intact as Democrats moved ahead.

“We can’t repeat the errors of the previous,” stated Senator Chuck Schumer, Democrat of New York and the bulk chief. “We can’t do too little.”

Earlier than the vote, Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican chief, had indicated that the amendments have been meant to drive Democrats into taking a place on some points they may want to keep away from.

“We’re going to place senators on the document,” he stated. “We’ll see how our colleagues vote on these primary, commonsense steps.”

The roughly 12-hour rush of vote-casting got here as Speaker Nancy Pelosi signaled that Home Democrats have been open to dropping a $15 federal minimal wage from Mr. Biden’s plan ought to the proposal be dominated out of bounds underneath the Senate’s strict finances course of guidelines. Administration officers and a few Senate Democrats have been bracing for such a risk.

The speaker stated Democrats wouldn’t surrender on making an attempt to boost the wage to $15 an hour in the event that they have been compelled to jettison it from the stimulus measure.

“It’s not the final invoice we’ll cross,” Ms. Pelosi stated. “That is the rescue bundle.”

Through the voting, Ms. Collins, who led a gaggle of 10 senators who met with Mr. Biden this week with hopes of persuading him to embrace a smaller, $618 billion stimulus package, launched a letter to the White Home that argued that Mr. Biden was overestimating the cash wanted to reopen faculties and assist state and native governments.

In an interview, she urged the president to benefit from cash already permitted in earlier stimulus packages.

“There are a whole bunch of billions of {dollars} in unspent funds,” Ms. Collins stated.

Democrats have been anticipated to introduce laws and start committee debate within the Home subsequent week, aiming to maneuver the plan by the finances reconciliation course of. They might then circumvent a filibuster, which might solely be overcome with 60 votes, and as a substitute cross with a easy majority, permitting the bundle to be enacted with out Republican votes.

Whereas particulars stay in flux, individuals aware of the plan stated it will largely mirror Mr. Biden’s $1.9 trillion proposal. Probably the most important deviation, they stated, was more likely to be reducing the price of offering direct funds to Individuals.

At Mr. Biden’s insistence, the utmost quantity of these funds would stay at $1,400. However Democrats and the administration are discussing phasing them out for higher-income Individuals at a quicker fee than the $600 funds that Congress permitted in December, that means these incomes extra would get smaller checks.

Democrats might additional cut back the price of the plan by reducing the revenue threshold at which the funds start to part out. Mr. Biden has proposed starting the phaseout for people incomes $75,000 a 12 months and {couples} incomes $150,000 a 12 months. Lawmakers are discussing lowering these thresholds to $50,000 for people and $100,000 for {couples}, although they haven’t made a last determination on whether or not to take action.

Among the many Republican concepts that appeared to realize some traction with the White Home was a proposal from Senator Mitt Romney of Utah, who unveiled a plan to ship funds of as much as $1,250 per thirty days to households with kids, in an effort to encourage Individuals to have extra kids whereas lowering youngster poverty charges.

Mr. Romney’s Household Safety Act would supply $350 a month for every youngster as much as 5 years previous and $250 a month for kids ages 6 to 17, by way of the Social Safety Administration. The funds can be capped at $1,250 per household per thirty days, and they’d part out for particular person dad and mom incomes above $200,000 a 12 months and {couples} incomes greater than $400,000.

To offset the prices of the brand new profit, Mr. Romney proposed eliminating different authorities security internet spending, together with the Momentary Help for Needy Households program and the expanded “head of family” deduction for folks who don’t itemize their revenue tax returns.

Mr. Biden’s American Rescue Plan features a one-year growth of the prevailing youngster tax credit score and earned-income tax credit score, which analysts say might lower youngster poverty in half. Mr. Romney’s plan would streamline the earned-income tax credit score, whereas including within the youngster allowance.

The plan drew reward for instance of the chances of bipartisan motion, with the White Home chief of employees, Ron Klain, writing in a tweet that it was an “encouraging signal.”

Nicholas Fandos contributed reporting.