HAPEVILLE, Ga. - All eyes were on Georgia for its twin runoff elections in January for one reason: it would dictate the ease or difficulty the incoming presidential administration would face when trying to move forward with its legislative agenda.
Georgia's newly-elected senators, Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock, voted in favor of the passage of a trillion-dollar federal COVID-19 relief package designed to address the economic fallout of the pandemic.
Every vote in the senate bears the same weight, of course, but the timing of Georgia's elections amid the current political climate led some to single out their votes as crucial.
White House Chief of Staff Ronald Klain took to Twitter to thank Georgia's senators.
FOX 5 Atlanta's Elizabeth Rawlins caught up with Ossoff and Warnock hours after their prevalent vote. Their message was overall a victorious one.
"This is the most substantial economic relief for working-class and middle-class families ever passed in legislation," Ossoff said.
Senators said the $1.9 trillion dollar package will provide stimulus checks of $1,400 for families making less than $80,000 per year. Families with children could receive $1,400 per child. The bill also provides for free vaccines and funding dedicated to safely re-open schools and Medicaid expansion.
The House of Representatives will have to vote again on the bill after the Senate passed a version that did not include a minimum wage hike, unlike the House version of the bill.
Georgia's senators both voted in favor of including that measure in the Senate bill, but they were outnumbered.
"It's the right thing to do for Georgians because when they get relief they buy food, baby diapers," Warnock said. "It's the right thing to do for workers, but it's also the smart thing to do for the economy and we won't rest until we get $15 minimum wage."
The bill passed with a party-line vote in the Senate. Republicans were critical of the bill's hefty price tag, saying the spending was wasteful.
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