Biden signs $1.9 trillion relief bill

Photo by U.S. Embassy Jerusalem via Flickr

By Saumya Rastogi
Boston University News Service

President Joe Biden has signed the $1.9 trillion economic relief package finalized by congress. This bill approves an infusion of federal aid to states in order to further address the damage done by COVID-19.

Biden said the historic legislation is about rebuilding this country’s fortitude and giving the middle-class communities a determined chance.

The White House initially indicated the president would sign the bill on Friday, after being reviewed again and printed. But, the president and his counselors, preponed the signing to Thursday afternoon.

White House Chief of Staff, Ron Klain, said on Twitter that plans evolved when the House approved changes made by the Senate earlier than expected. Klain said the house wanted to move plans “as fast as possible” but said the signing celebration would be held on Friday with Congressional heads.

In the final days of debate, the legislation received high approval ratings, with 61% of Americans indicating support in national polling, according to a recent CNN/SSRS poll

The relief package is set to deliver a series of benefits to low-income and middle-income Americans, including direct payments of $1,400 per person and billions of dollars in state aid, providing a jumpstart for the uncertain economy as the pandemic begins to slow down.

Massachusetts will receive around $9 billion in relief for state government. 

Other benefits include monthly payments for parents, adding up to $3,600 a year per child under 6-years-old and $3,000 for children ages 6 to 17. Individuals may be eligible for $459 million in funding for rental assistance as well.  

The president was set to deliver a prime-time televised address tonight at 8 p.m., marking the one-year anniversary of the COVID-19 pandemic. The address kicked off a campaign to help voters understand the relief benefits available to them via the new COVID-19 bill signed into law. 

The campaign will later involve travel by the president and Vice President Kamala Harris through many states, as well as events involving cabinet members, highlighting the legislation’s main themes.

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