U.S. House of Representatives approves American Rescue Plan, Biden plans to sign his $1.9 trillion COVID relief package Friday

The U.S. House of Representatives approved President Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan in a 220-211 highly partisan vote Wednesday. The bill, which provides for another round of stimulus checks and higher unemployment payments amongst other provisions, will now be sent to the President’s desk.

In a statement released by the White House shortly after the vote, President Biden indicated plans to sign the bill into law this Friday, March 12. 

“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,” Biden said of the bill.

Mr. Biden also spoke about how he believes the passage of the bill will impact the nation, saying, “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.”

President Biden took time in his statement to give abundant praise to Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the other congressional Democrats that voted in favor of the bill, saying, “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.”

The passage of the American Rescue Plan is being referred to by many as Mr. Biden’s first major win as President. Throughout the first two months of Biden’s presidency, he has emphasized time and time again that passing the COVID-19 relief package is his top priority.

Noah Pitcher is a global politics correspondent for Today News Africa covering the U.S. government, United Nations, African Union, and other actors involved in international developments, political controversies, and humanitarian issues.

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