Generals and Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin were grilled for nearly six hours by members of the Senate Armed Services Committee about the US withdrawal from Afghanistan and the chaotic evacuation from Kabul airport.
The final bill includes $400 billion in one-time payments of $1,400 to most Americans, $300 a week in extended jobless benefits for the 9.5 million people thrown out of work in the crisis.
Vice President Kamala Harris drew applause as she entered the chamber to deliver the oath of office to the new Democratic senators - Jon Ossoff, Raphael Warnock and Alex Padilla - just hours after taking her own oath at the Capitol alongside Biden.
Law enforcement instructed lawmakers to retrieve masks from under their seats amid the clashes.
Jon Ossoff defeated David Perdue and the Rev. Raphael Warnock defeated Sen. Kelly Loeffler. The two Republicans had the backing of President Trump in the runoff elections.
Vice President Mike Pence finds himself in the most precarious position of his tenure as he prepares to preside over Wednesday’s congressional tally of Electoral College votes, the last front in Trump’s futile attempts to overturn President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in the November election.
Trump says “the stakes in this election could not be higher” as he warns a boisterous crowd of several thousand supporters about Democrats winning control of the Senate. The crowd shouted back, “Fight for Trump.”
In a solemn procession, the nine House impeachment managers silently walked the article through the same ornate halls of Congress overrun by Trump supporters on Jan.6 and delivered it to the Senate.
On Wednesday, House Republicans gave themselves a half-victory when they nominated Majority Leader Steve Scalise to be speaker. This came after a standoff between Scalise, the number two in the House Republican conference who is a well-liked figure, and Rep Jim Jordan (R-OH),