US Senate passes Biden’s massive $1.9tn relief plan

US Senate passes Biden's massive $1.9tn relief plan
The $1.9tn plan was approved in the Senate on Saturday. Source: AP
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Daily US Times: President Joe Biden’s $1.9tn coronavirus relief bill aimed at helping Americans deal with the impact of the pandemic has cleared a major hurdle.

The $1.9tn plan was approved in the Senate on Saturday despite every Republican senator voting against it.

The House of Representatives – controlled by Mr Biden’s Democratic Party – is expected to approve it next Tuesday.

President Biden described the Senate vote as “one more giant step forward” in delivering the promise to help impacted people.

Coronavirus pandemic is the worst public health crisis in a century in America which has left nearly 523,000 people dead and 29 million infected, with a current unemployment rate of 6.2%.

The relief package – the third in the US since the start of the Covid pandemic hits the country – envisages one-off payments worth $1,400 to be sent to most Americans.

Republicans say the plan is too costly, while some Democrats have also voiced criticism of certain provisions and the party’s leadership was forced to make a number of compromises, notably the lowering of federal unemployment benefit from $400 to $300 a week.

Under the plan, the benefit will be extended until 6 September.

President Biden said: “It obviously wasn’t easy. It wasn’t always pretty. But it was so desperately needed, urgently needed.”

Mr Biden added he hoped for a quick passage of the bill in the House so that he could sign it into law.

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