US President Biden signs US$1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package

Sunday, March 14, 2021

On Thursday, United States President Joe Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act, a USD 1.9 trillion stimulus relief package that provides a maximum of $1400 in direct payments to individuals making no more than $75 thousand annually. The bill was passed in the United States House of Representatives with a 220–211 vote on Wednesday and in the United States Senate with a 50–49 vote along party lines through budget reconciliation.

The bill includes $300 billion in unemployment benefits through September and expands the tax credit per child to $3600. The bill also supplies $350 billion to state as well as local governments and $14 billion for distributing vaccines. The bill offers a funding of $130 billion in schools, which would help them reopen safely. Small businesses will get $50 billion, and the Paycheck Protection Program will get $7 billion. Small and mid-sized restaurants, which have been hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, will be given $25 billion in relief.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said US citizens will begin receiving a first round of direct deposits in their bank accounts by the weekend. Additionally, Biden gave a primetime address to discuss how the country will continue fighting COVID-19 after it was proclaimed as a pandemic by the World Health Organization the previous year. Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris are to travel Atlanta, Georgia and promote the legislation across the country on Friday.

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