The U.S. Senate voted 50-49 to open debate on a landmark budget plan authorizing $3.5 trillion of spending for social programs and climate change, with all 48 Democrats and the two independents who caucus with them voting in favor.
No Republicans voted in favor of the measure, which Democrats aim to pass without their support using a maneuver called "budget reconciliation" that bypasses the chamber's normal 60-vote threshold for most legislation.
Vice President Kamala Harris was in the chamber in case she was needed to cast her tie-breaking vote, but her vote was not needed as not all 50 Republicans voted.
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