In U.S. history, a sweeping $1.9 trillion Covid-19 relief bill that gives President Joe Biden his first major victory in office. Forecasters expect it to supercharge the U.S. economic recovery
The House of Representatives gave final approval on Wednesday to one of the largest economic stimulus measures in U.S. history, a sweeping $1.9 trillion Covid-19 relief bill that gives President Joe Biden his first major victory in office.
The measure provides $400 billion for $1,400 direct payments to most Americans, $350 billion in aid to state and local governments, an expansion of the child tax credit and increased funding for vaccine distribution. Forecasters expect it to supercharge the U.S. economic recovery.
“Help is here,” Biden wrote in a tweet after the vote. The White House said he plans to sign the bill on Friday.
Approval by a 220-211 vote in the Democratic-controlled chamber came with zero Republican support after weeks of partisan debate and wrangling in Congress. Democrats described the legislation as a critical response to a pandemic that has killed more than 528,000 people and thrown millions out of work.
“This is a historic day. It is the beginning of the end of the great Covid depression,” Democratic Representative Jan Schakowsky said.
Measure too costly, packed with wasteful progressive priorities: Republicans
Republicans said the measure was too costly and was packed with wasteful progressive priorities. They said the worst phase of the largest public health crisis in a century has largely passed and the economy is headed toward a rebound.
“It’s the wrong plan at the wrong time for so many wrong reasons,” Republican Representative Jason Smith said. Democrats were eager to get the final bill to Biden’s desk for his signature before current enhanced federal unemployment benefits expire on March 14.
While fiscal conservatives bridled at the $1.9 trillion cost of the Covid-19 bill, it could be possible to get Republican buy-in on immigration and climate change legislation in the Senate, said Paul Sracic, a political science professor at Youngstown State University.
But getting enough Republican support for Democratic initiatives to propel them to passage will be a challenge and “anything that gets 60 votes in the Senate is likely to be a problem with progressive Democrats in the House,” Sracic added, published by - The Beyond News (Politics)