Economy

US Senate okays Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID-19 stimulus plan

Relief bill sends $1,400 in direct payment to most Americans and their dependents; gives $350 billion in aid to state and local governments

 
By DTE Staff
Published: Thursday 11 March 2021
US Senate okays Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID-19 stimulus plan. Photo: Twitter / @POTUS

The United States House of Representatives March 10, 2021 passed a $1.9 trillion novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) relief bill in what is one of the biggest stimulus plans in the history of the country.

The move is expected to bring the limping US economy — afflicted by the COVID-19 pandemic — back on track. 

The relief bill sends $1,400 in direct payment to most Americans and their dependents. The payment, however, will start to phase out for individuals earning $75,000; it will be capped at people who make $80,000.

The government will base eligibility on Americans’ most recent filed tax return.

The bill offers to:

  • Give $350 billion in aid to state and local governments
  • Expand the child tax credit to $3,600 for children under 6 from $2,000; and to $3,000 for kids between 6 and 17 for a year
  • Allocate $20 billion into COVID-19 vaccine manufacturing and distribution, along with roughly $50 billion into testing and contact tracing
  • Nearly $30 billion in aid to restaurants

It introduces programmes to make millions more eligible for unemployment insurance until September 6 and gives $300 a week jobless aid supplement.

The bill passed the House by a 220-211 margin without a single Republican vote.  

“They feel like we do, we have to get this done. It’s not going to be everything everyone wants. No bill is,” said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. 

“This plan puts us on the path to beating the virus. This plan will help the families struggling the hardest. This plan gives small businesses a fighting chance to survive,” news channel CNN quoted Biden as saying. 

Senator Rob Portman of Ohio, however, cited apprehensions regarding the “kind of massive stimulus overheating the economy.”  

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