WASHINGTON: Congress on Wednesday gave President Joe Biden a serious victory by because it passed his $1.9 trillion economic relief package which he says will provides a “fighting chance” to Americans affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
The $1.9 trillion plan, months within the making, is one among the most important US rescue packages ever. it’ll dramatically impact every aspect of the world’s biggest economy for years to return while protecting and expanding the country’s social safety net.
Democrats say they need met a historic moment of crisis head on, funneling federal dollars into vaccine distribution, stimulus checks of up to $1,400 to most Americans, extended unemployment benefits for millions and an expansion of state funding for health care.
The measure only narrowly passed the House of Representatives by a 220-211 vote, with zero support from Republicans, who accuse Biden of abandoning his Inauguration Day pledge to unify a divided nation.
But as Republicans stood con , progressive and moderate Democrats locked arms and marched the measure across the finishing line days before critical unemployment benefits were set to expire.
The bill now heads to the White House, where Biden — who made the American Rescue Plan his top legislative priority — said he will sign the measure into law on Friday.
“This legislation is about giving the backbone of this nation — the essential workers, the working people that built this country, the people that keep this country going — a fighting chance,” the president said during a post-vote statement.
At a presentation with vaccine makers, Biden went on to call the bill a “historic victory for the American people” and said “there’s a true reason for hope” in beating back the pandemic.
Minutes earlier, loud cheers and applause rose from the ground when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi declared the measure passed.
“This may be a critical moment in our country’s history,” the highest congressional Democrat said. “Help is on the way — for the people, for the youngsters .”
The bill extends eviction and foreclosure moratoriums, pours billions of dollars into state and native governments, provides help for little businesses, increases food aid and sets aside $130 billion for schools.
And Democrats argue that the bill’s child decrease expansion would slash child poverty by up to 50%.
But Republican lawmakers attacked what they called the bill’s “socialist agenda” and large cost, saying quite 90% doesn’t attend directly combatting COVID-19.
House legislator Kevin McCarthy called the plan “a long laundry list of left-wing priorities that predate the pandemic and don’t meet the requirements of the American families.”
The Senate’s top Republican, Mitch McConnell, savaged the bill as “Democratic overreach within the name of COVID relief.”
“This is far and away one among the worst pieces of legislation I’ve seen within the Senate,” he said. The bill passed the upper chamber Saturday along strict party lines.
Americans outside Washington appear to ascertain it very differently, as polls show overwhelming bipartisan support for the bill.
Nevertheless, Biden is signaling that he will soon hit the road on a mission to sell the package to the American people.
On Tuesday, Biden visited a business billed as Washington’s oldest ironmongery shop , which has benefited from the Paycheck Protection Program begun under Donald Trump’s administration to assist businesses stay afloat during the crisis.
The administration is constant the program, but Biden said it’ll be tailored to specialise in businesses with 20 employees or fewer.
The last congressional decide to fight the coronavirus, which has got to date left quite 528,000 dead within the us and brought the economy to its knees, was enacted in December.
It expanded unemployment payments and extended them through March 14.
That deadline has loomed as Biden and Democrats crafted their latest package, but the new measure is about to increase the advantages until early September.
Progressive Democrats had pushed for higher supplemental unemployment benefits of $400, but after a last-minute standoff with a moderate Democrat, the Senate kept the payments at $300 every week .
On Tuesday with the bill’s passage likely, the Paris-based Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development sharply raised its 2021 global growth forecast amid greatly improved economic prospects.
It sees the US economy climbing by 6.5% this year, nearly double its previous forecast.