US House approves USD 1.9 trillion Covid-19 Relief Bill

·3-min read
US Capitol
US Capitol

Washington [US], March 11 (ANI): The US House of Representatives on Wednesday approved the Senate-passed version of the USD 1.9 trillion Covid-19 relief bill, sending it to President Joe Biden's desk for signature. The House of Representatives voted 220-211 to pass the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.

"I can announce that the president will sign the bill at the White House on Friday afternoon," Psaki told reporters at an afternoon briefing as quoted by The Hill.

"Once it is passed, the bill text will be checked, rechecked, printed and signed by the appropriate leaders in the House and Senate. The House clerks will then deliver it to the White House for the president's signature. We expect that delivery to happen sometime tomorrow and then the president will sign it on Friday," she said.

She added that the Biden administration is "moving full speed ahead on the implementation of the bill because we know the American people need help and need it as soon as possible."

It's unclear whether Biden will hold a signing ceremony for the bill, which could include lawmakers. Psaki did not offer further details about his plans for the bill signing.

CNN reported that after Biden signs the bill, the turnaround time -- between it being a more than 600-page bill and money in people's pockets -- could be relatively quick.

People could start seeing the $1,400 stimulus payments hit their bank accounts within days of Biden signing the bill. "The payments do not all go out at once. Those whose bank information is on file with the IRS would likely get the money first because it would be directly deposited into their accounts. Others may receive paper checks or prepaid debit cards in the mail," CNN reported.

According to Sputnik, the bill provides a one-time USD 1,400 check for eligible Americans, specifically to individuals that make less than USD 75,000 a year and married couples that make less than USD 150,000 a year.

In addition, Americans that make less than $150,000 will be eligible to receive USD 300 each week in unemployment benefits.

The bill assists the reopening of US schools, providing USD 125 billion to reopen all schools and USD 40 billion to help reopen universities.

The legislation supports public health measures by providing USD 20 billion for the development and distribution of vaccines and USD 48.3 billion to support mitigation efforts to help prevent the spread of the disease.

The bill also includes USD 29 billion to help struggling restaurants and USD 350 billion to help keep frontline workers such as health care workers, law enforcement, and teachers employed.

The United States lost more than 21 million jobs last spring during the height of the lockdowns and other restrictive measures implemented amid the coronavirus pandemic. At least 10 million of those jobs have not returned, with the US economy shrinking 3.5 per cent in 2020 after a 2.2 per cent growth in 2019, according to Sputnik.

The legislation has faced strong opposition from Republicans who have said only a small portion of the USD 1.9 trillion bill actually deals with combating the novel coronavirus while other funding in the bill is for foreign assistance and lawmakers' initiatives they deem unnecessary and wasteful. (ANI)