Joe Biden celebrates as US pass groundbreaking $900 billion coronavirus relief bill

Joe Biden: President-elect receives Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine

The bill sped through the House and Senate in a matter of hours. The Senate cleared the massive package by a 92-6 vote after the House approved the COVID-19 package by another lopsided vote, 359-53. The tallies were a bipartisan coda to months of partisanship and politicking as lawmakers wrangled over the relief question, a logjam that broke after President-elect Joe Biden

The bill is a staggering 5,593-page legislation — by far the longest bill ever.

The bill combines coronavirus-fighting funds with financial relief for individuals and businesses.

It would establish a temporary $300 per week supplemental jobless benefit and a $600 direct stimulus payment to most Americans. 

Following the news, the president-elect tweeted: “I applaud this relief package, but our work is far from over.

“Starting in the new year, Congress will need to immediately get to work on support for our COVID-19 plan.

“My message to everyone out there struggling right now: help is on the way.”

However, some insist the bill is far from enough.

Congress also approved a one-week stopgap spending bill to avert a partial government shutdown at midnight and give Trump time to sign the sweeping legislation.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, a key negotiator, said on CNBC Monday morning that the direct payments would begin arriving in bank accounts next week.

The measure would fund the US Government through September, wrapping a year’s worth of action on annual spending bills into a single package.

The controversial bill never saw Senate committee or floor debate, sparking furious backlash from the opposition.

“This deal is not everything I want — not by a long shot,” said Rules Committee Chairman Jim McGovern, D-Mass., a longstanding voice in the party’s old-school liberal wing.

“The choice before us is simple.

“It’s about whether we help families or not. It’s about whether we help small businesses and restaurants or not. It’s about whether we boost (food stamp) benefits and strengthen anti-hunger programs or not. And whether we help those dealing with a job loss or not.

“To me, this is not a tough call.”


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