Cassidy and Kennedy

U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-Baton Rouge, and U.S. Sen. John N. Kennedy, R-Madisonville.

Louisiana Senators Bill Cassidy and John Kennedy voted against the $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief bill that the U.S. Senate passed Saturday.

The bill passed on a party-line vote in the evenly divided Senate, with Democrats voting yes and Republicans voting no. Vice President Kamala Harris cast a tie-breaking vote. Cassidy and Kennedy are both Republicans. 

Because the Senate made changes to the bill, it must again be approved by the U.S. House of Representatives before becoming law.

The bill provides direct payments of up to $1,400 for most Americans, extended emergency unemployment benefits, and vast piles of spending for COVID-19 vaccines and testing, states and cities, schools and ailing industries, along with tax breaks to help lower-earning people, families with children and consumers buying health insurance.

Democrats had said the legislation was necessary to help Americans who are struggling financially from the effects of the coronavirus. Republicans balked balked at the enormous cost of the bill and argued the country is close to ending the pandemic as vaccines become more commonplace. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.