Biden signs $1.9 trillion COVID relief package into law

Biden signs $1.9 trillion COVID relief package into law
  • Clock-gray 01:24
  • calendar-gray 12 March 2021

US President Joe Biden signed his $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief bill into law on Thursday, APA reports.

"This historic legislation is about rebuilding the backbone of this country and giving people in this nation, working people, middle class folks, people who built the country a fighting chance," Biden said in the Oval Office.

The package will see most Americans receive $1,400 direct payments, expand the child tax credit up to $3,600 and boost funds for state and local government reeling from the pandemic.

In addition, the American Rescue Plan, as the bill is formally known, increases food assistance programs through September and helps low-income households pay for rent. 

The House of Representatives voted along near-party lines on Wednesday to approve the bill in a 220-211 vote that marked a win for Democrats generally and Biden. It followed the Senate approving the package over the weekend.

Stimulus payments could begin to arrive in Americans' bank accounts within the next couple of weeks as most recipients are expected to receive them by the end of March. 

The bill was supposed to be signed on Friday, but because Congress acted quickly to process it, Biden moved up the action and still plans to have a more ceremonial event on Friday alongside lawmakers. 

"We want to move as fast as possible," White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain said on Twitter explaining the updated timing. "We will hold our celebration of the signing on Friday, as planned, with Congressional leaders!"

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