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Republicans test history in vote against pandemic relief

NEW YORK – With the nation's financial system on the brink of collapse, all but three Republicans voted against the massive stimulus package designed to protect millions of Americans from financial ruin.

It was early 2009, just weeks after Joe Biden was sworn in as vice president, and the vote marked the beginning of a new era of partisan gridlock in Congress.

And for beleaguered Republicans coming off a disastrous election, it was their first step back to political power. Democrats voted alone to stabilize the economy, and two years later, a Republican Party unified only by its unwavering opposition to Barack Obama's presidency seized the House majority.

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