The United States Congress has endorsed a landmark $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill for Biden administration.
President Joe Biden and Democrats expressed satisfaction on Wednesday over the bill which aims to fight Covid-19 pandemic and economic crises currently plaquing the country.
The House gave final congressional approval to the sweeping package by a near party line 220-211 vote precisely seven weeks after Biden entered the White House and four days after the Senate passed the bill.
Republicans in both chambers opposed the bill unanimously, “characterizing it as bloated, crammed with liberal policies and heedless of signs the crises are easing”.
“Help is here,” Biden tweeted moments after the roll call, which ended with applause from Democratic lawmakers. Biden said he’d sign the measure Friday.
Most noticeable to many Americans are provisions providing up to $1,400 direct payments this year to most adults and extending $300 weekly emergency unemployment benefits into early September. But the legislation goes far beyond that.
The measure addresses Democrats’ campaign promises and Biden’s top initial priority of easing a one-two punch that first hit the country a year ago. Since then, many Americans have been relegated to hermit-like lifestyles in their homes to avoid a disease that’s killed over 525,000 people — about the population of Wichita, Kansas — and plunged the economy to its deepest depths since the Great Depression.
“Today we have a decision to make of tremendous consequence,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., “a decision that will make a difference for millions of Americans, saving lives and livelihoods.”