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The House of Representatives passed the final version of the third stimulus package since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic on March 10, 2021. The Rescue America bill is expected to be signed by President Joe Biden, and $1,400 checks will be sent out shortly thereafter to most Americans.
Democrats would like the bill to be signed by Sunday, March 14, since the current unemployment enhancement and other assistance programs expire. Since the infrastructure is in place, the distribution of stimulus funds will likely happen quickly. However, since the IRS is currently dealing with incoming tax returns, there might be a delay, although it is unclear if that will be a factor.
Congressional Republicans disapproved of the landmark $1.9 trillion price tag for the stimulus bill. The outcome of the vote revealed the sharp partisan divide — 220 yeas to 211 nays. Steve Scalise (R-La.), the No. 2 GOP leader, decried the stimulus package: “It’s not focused on COVID relief. It’s focused on pushing more of the far-left agenda.”
Nevertheless, 70 percent of Americans polled back the president’s handling of the virus — 44 percent of them identified themselves as Republican, according to the last week’s Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs poll.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said the stimulus bill “will make a difference for millions of Americans, saving lives and neighborhoods.” On Tuesday, March 9, she told the National League of Cities:
The American Rescue Plan is a beacon of hope for America’s families and struggling small businesses. It is a decisive action that is needed to save lives and livelihoods. It’s putting vaccines in people’s arms, money in people’s pockets, children safely back in school, and people back to work.
The stimulus package comes seven weeks into President Biden’s term. He and the Democrats claim a victory on the bill; they confidently assert it is greatly needed as the country slowly recovers from both economic and pandemic crises.
Written by Cathy Milne-Ware
The Hill: House approves $1.9T COVID-19 relief in partisan vote; by Christina Marcos
NBC Newscenter Maine: Third stimulus check update: House gives final approval to COVID bill with $1,400 payments; by Alan Fram
Featured and Top Image Courtesy of Susan Ruggles’ Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image Courtesy of Damian Gadal’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License