Congress Approves $1,400 For Americans, Extend Unemployment and Provide Covid Support for States

The House passed President Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion stimulus package on Wednesday, sending the legislation to the president's desk for his signature as the final step before becoming law.

Biden will sign the bill on Friday afternoon, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said at a press conference on Wednesday.

The Democratic-controlled House voted 220-to-211 to pass the "American Rescue Plan." This is the second version of the legislation the House has voted on, the latest of which includes amendments made in the Senate before that chamber passed the bill on Saturday.

"This bill has bipartisan support across the country." House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said from the House floor before the vote. "Not only among the general public, but in mayors and city council persons and county executives who are Republican eagerly awaiting the passage of this bill because they know at their level, what a difference it will make in the lives of their constituents."

The legislation got support from all but one Democrat, Rep. Jared Golden of Maine. No Republicans voted for the legislation, similar to what happened in the Senate.

The income thresholds for stimulus checks were also narrowed in the latest version, while the weekly unemployment benefits were reduced to $300 from $400. The latest legislation also includes a new tax break for jobless workers, forgiving taxes on up to $10,200 in unemployment benefits.

Eligible Americans would receive a $1,400 stimulus payment — plus $1,400 for any dependent. Under the amended provision, a single filer making up to $75,000 would get the full payment, while those earning up to $80,000 would get a reduced amount. Joint filers making up to $150,000 would get the full $2,800, while those earning up to $160,000 would get a smaller amount. Previously, the phase-out thresholds were $100,000 for single filers and $200,000 for joint filers in the House version.

The extra unemployment benefits would continue to be $300 a week and would be extended through September 6. Currently, they are set to expire on March 14. The legislation would also extend the program that provides jobless benefits to workers who typically don’t qualify for regular benefits as well as the jobless program that extends unemployment benefits for individuals who have exhausted their weeks.

This is a great bill by all standards, and the republicans would no doubt have a difficult time explaining to their constituents why they did not support money going to Americans. But we saw part of their strategy today, when some of them seemed to cherry pick some financial support for black farmers across the country. That is the only explanation they can have, because over 70 percent of Americans supported the Americans Rescue Ac.

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