Congress sends $1.9 trillion pandemic relief package to Biden’s desk


The House of Representatives voted Wednesday to approve the $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief plan, paving the way for President Joe Biden to sign his top legislative priority into law later this week and deliver aid to most American households amid the pandemic.

Passage of the bill marks the first major legislative achievement of the new administration and a Congress that is now under full Democratic control, with narrow majorities in the House and Senate.
House Democrats passed the legislation on party-line vote of 220-211. No Republicans voted in favor. One Democrat voted against the bill: Rep. Jared Golden of Maine. White House press secretary Jen Psaki said that Biden plans to sign the bill Friday at the White House.
Key features of the plan include up to $1,400-per-person stimulus payments that will send money to about 90% of households, a $300 federal boost to weekly jobless benefits, an expansion of the child tax credit of up to $3,600 per child and $350 billion in state and local aid, as well as billions of dollars for K-12 schools to help students return to the classroom, to assist small businesses hard-hit by the pandemic and for vaccine research, development and distribution.
In addition, the far-reaching legislation extends a 15% increase in food stamp benefits through September, helps low-income households cover rent, makes federal premium subsidies for Affordable Care Act policies more generous and provides $8.5 billion to rural hospitals and health care providers.

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