ALBQUQUERQUE — New Mexico Democrats Martin Heinrich and Ben Ray Luján were both in the razor-thin majority Saturday as the U.S. Senate approved a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill.
The 50-49 vote gives President Joe Biden and his Democratic allies a victory that they say is crucial for hoisting the country out of the pandemic and economic doldrums.
Senate passage sets up final congressional approval by the House next week.
Heinrich said New Mexico’s residents “are facing daunting economic hardships and need assistance to help weather this crisis,” while Lujan said the bill “provides crucial relief at a time when New Mexicans are still struggling financially.”
Republicans call the measure a wasteful spending spree for Democrats’ liberal allies that ignores recent indications that the pandemic and economy could be turning the corner.