House Passes $1.9 Trillion American Rescue Plan, Biden to Sign It Into Law Friday

Mandatory Credit: Photo by JIM LO SCALZO/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock (11794514b)Speaker of the House from California Nancy Pelosi walks off the House floor after voting on President Biden's $1.

The House of Representatives voted 220-211 in favor of President Biden’s $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan following its passage in the Senate last Saturday. The bill is now on its way to be signed by the President on Friday.

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Following the vote, President Biden said in a statement that an overwhelming percentage of Americans — Democrats, Independents and Republicans — have made it clear they support the American Rescue Plan.

“This legislation is about giving the backbone of this nation — the essential workers, the working people who built this country, the people who keep this country going — a fighting chance,” Biden said in the statement. “I want to thank all the members who voted for it, especially Speaker Pelosi, the finest and most capable speaker in the history of our nation. Once again, she has led into law an historic piece of legislation that addresses a major crisis and lifts up millions of Americans. On Friday, I look forward to signing the American Rescue Plan into law at the White House — a people’s law at the people’s house,” he added.

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Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi immediately tweeted, “Today is a day of great progress and promise, as the House prepares for final passage of the #AmericanRescuePlan, so that we can send it to the President’s desk to be immediately signed and enacted. We are ensuring that, as @POTUS promised, Help Is On The Way!”

Press Secretary Jen Psaki said, “The bill text will be rechecked, printed, and signed by the appropriate leaders in the House and Senate,” according to CNN. “The House coach will then deliver it to the White House for the President’s signature,” with that delivery expected “sometime tomorrow.”

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Once the Rescue Plan is signed, “we’ll be able to start getting payments out this month,” said Psaki.

“Treasury and IRS are working tirelessly to make that happen. The IRS and Bureau of the Fiscal Service are building on lessons learned from previous rounds to increase the number of households that will get electronic payments, which are substantially faster than checks,” she said.

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No Republicans voted for the bill. The only Democrat to vote against the bill is Maine Congressman Jared Golden, who said in statement that “while the Senate made modest changes to the legislation, some of those changes undermined parts of the bill I do support, and others were insufficient to address my concerns with the overall size and scope of the bill. Although I support the Senate’s effort to reduce the number of wealthier households that will receive stimulus checks, they did not go far enough, and other changes — like removing the minimum wage increase or providing a lower unemployment benefit — undermined policies that I support. I voted for a $15 minimum wage in the last Congress, and given the opportunity, I intend to do so again,” he said in a statement.

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The original plan called for $400-per-week unemployment insurance, but that payment has been lowered to $300 and will be extended through Sept. 6, The New York Times reports. In addition, the first $10,200 of unemployment benefits will not be taxed.

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The bill includes $1,400 direct-payment checks for Americans earning up to $75,000, according to The New York Times. Individuals earning more than $75,000 but less than $80,000 will receive smaller payments. In addition, the American Rescue Plan includes, among other things, an extended tax child credit, help for small businesses and funding for vaccinations and COVID response.

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About the Author

Yaël Bizouati-Kennedy is a full-time financial journalist and has written for several publications, including Dow Jones, The Financial Times Group, Bloomberg and Business Insider. She also worked as a vice president/senior content writer for major NYC-based financial companies, including New York Life and MSCI. Yaël is now freelancing and most recently, she co-authored  the book “Blockchain for Medical Research: Accelerating Trust in Healthcare,” with Dr. Sean Manion. (CRC Press, April 2020) She holds two master’s degrees, including one in Journalism from New York University and one in Russian Studies from Université Toulouse-Jean Jaurès, France.
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