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House passes $1.9T COVID-19 stimulus package, sending bill to Biden's desk

Capitol Building
Posted at 7:53 AM, Mar 10, 2021

The House of Representatives passed a massive $1.9 trillion COVID-19 stimulus package Wednesday, sending the bill to President Joe Biden's desk for final approval.

According to E.W. Scripps news partner Newsy, President Joe Biden will sign the bill into law at the White House on Friday.

The bill will provide millions of Americans with direct funds — individuals earning less than $75,000 a year and couples earning less than $150,000 will be sent $1,400 checks from the U.S. Treasury. It will also provide an additional $300 weekly benefits to those on unemployment, expand child tax credits and provide state and local governments with much-needed federal dollars.

Watch proceedings from the House floor in the player below.

The legislation will also provide funds for mass vaccination sites across the country and re-supply federal stockpiles of both personal protective equipment and materials needed for COVID-19 tests.

The bill’s passage will mark Biden’s first legislative win as president and will come days before some key benefits passed by previous stimulus bills were set to expire.

However, the bill will pass without some key provisions Biden hoped to include upon its introduction. Democrats had hoped to raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour in the original version of the bill but were forced to remove that provision to ensure passage in the Senate. Democrats also slightly scaled back unemployment assistance to ensure passage.

The bill is also expected to pass Congress with little to no support from Republicans. During the 2020 presidential campaign, Biden billed himself as a president who would work across the aisle, and White House officials have consistently stressed their willingness to work with Republicans.

However, the legislation passed through the Senate with no Republican votes. Republicans have chosen to take a “wait and see” approach with stimulus and have argued the price tag of the bill is too high.

Democrats have argued that the stimulus is needed given that unemployment remains extremely high year-over-year and given that many benefits were set to expire soon.

Biden released the following statement after the House passed the legislation:

"For weeks now, an overwhelming percentage of Americans – Democrats, Independents, and Republicans – have made it clear they support the American Rescue Plan. Today, with final passage in the House of Representatives, their voice has been heard.

Now we move forward with the resources needed to vaccinate the nation. To get $1,400 in direct payments to 85% of American households. To expand coverage and help with lowering health care premiums. To give small businesses what they need to stay open. To expand unemployment insurance, provide food and nutrition assistance. To help keep a roof over people’s heads. To cut child poverty in half.

This legislation is about giving the backbone of this nation – the essential workers, the working people who built this country, the people who keep this country going – a fighting chance.

I want to thank all the members who voted for it, especially Speaker Pelosi, the finest and most capable speaker in the history of our nation. Once again, she has led into law an historic piece of legislation that addresses a major crisis and lifts up millions of Americans.

On Friday, I look forward to signing the American Rescue Plan into law at the White House – a people’s law at the people’s house."