Senate passes Biden’s $1.9trn coronavirus relief plan after all-night debate


Joe Biden’s $1.9trn (£1.4trn) COVID-19 relief plan has been passed by the Senate in a party-line vote after an all-night session.

The final bill includes $400bn (£289bn) in one-time payments of $1,400 (£1,000) to most Americans, $300 (£217) a week in extended jobless benefits for the 9.5 million people made unemployed, and $350bn (£253bn) in aid to state and local governments that have taken a huge hit in their budgets.

In brief remarks on Saturday, the president said the plan will help get relief cheques to Americans this month.

The U.S. Senate passes President Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief plan in a party-line vote in Washington, U.S. March 6, 2021 in this still image taken from a video.
The bill was passed after an all-night debate

He said he hopes for quick passage by the House of Representatives so he can sign the bill into law soon.

House majority leader Steny Hoyer said in a tweet that the House will vote on Tuesday on the Senate-passed bill.

After passage by the House, it will be sent to Mr Biden, who hopes to sign the bill before enhanced jobless benefits expire on 14 March.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) speaks about efforts to pass fresh coronavirus disease (COVID-19) relief legslation as Senate Democratic leaders hold a news conference at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., March 2, 2021. REUTERS/Leah Millis/File Photo
Chuck Schumer says the bill was the ‘prescription for getting the upper hand’ against the pandemic

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The Senate voted 50-49, with no Republicans supporting what would be one of the largest stimulus packages in US history.

As the Senate was about to cast its vote, majority leader Chuck Schumer said the bill was the “prescription for getting the upper hand” against a pandemic that has killed more than 520,000 Americans.

“I want the American people to know that we’re going to get through this and someday soon our businesses will reopen, our economy will reopen and life will reopen,” he said.

U.S. President Joe Biden makes remarks from the White House after his coronavirus pandemic relief legislation passed in the Senate, in Washington, U.S. March 6, 2021. REUTERS/Erin Scott
The president said the plan will help get relief cheques to Americans this month

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell, however, had harsh words about the measure.

“The Senate has never spent $2trn in a more haphazard way or through a less rigorous process,” he said.

Republicans had sought a new round of aid about one-third the size of Mr Biden’s plan.

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