Americans get $1.9 trillion lifeline with latest COVID relief package

CBS News senior national correspondent Mark Strassmann reports on the latest legislative effort to deliver much-needed financial relief to the U.S. workforce.

Video Transcript

- Good morning. And welcome to "Face the Nation." President Biden's American Rescue Plan has been signed into law. And it is one of the largest stimulus bills in American history. Its impact, particularly on low-income Americans, could be significant.

Traditional political party lines could also be altered. Make no mistake, Democrats support and Republicans oppose the overall package. But some provisions in the new law are longtime priorities of conservatives. We begin this morning with senior national correspondent Mark Strassman.

JOE BIDEN: For the first time in a long time, this bill puts working people in this nation first.

MARK STRASSMAN: President Biden will spend this week selling his new deal for COVID America. After a year defined by loss, the American Rescue Plan becomes Washington's nearly $2 trillion lifeline, potentially transformative, how it expands the social safety net. Two pandemic unemployment programs will extend into September and add up to an extra $300 a week in benefits. Multibillion dollar hikes in housing aid, food stamps, and Obamacare subsidies, $50 billion for small business relief, and $350 billion in aid to state and local governments, radioactive to many conservatives as a bailout for blue America. Despite broad public support, not one Republican in Congress voted for the package.

MITCH MCCONNELL: It was a multitrillion-dollar Trojan horse full of bad, old, liberal ideas.

MARK STRASSMAN: Financially, the stimulus bill will also be a booster shot to the middle class and the poor, a much more generous child tax credit, and for millions of people, $1,400 in direct payments that start going out this weekend.

Under the new temporary child tax credit, income-eligible families will get up to $3,600 for each child under 6 and up to $3,000 for older children under 18. Partial benefits could roll out as soon as this July. Roughly 280 million Americans will qualify for Washington's third round of stimulus checks, including Lyft driver Marquise Rhodes in Atlanta. Business is better, but last year his family barely dodged eviction. His family qualifies for $4,200 in aid. That will buy peace of mind.

- I'm not out of the woods. But it gives me a small cushion to say, OK, if something does happen, I at least have this to kind of fall back on.

MARK STRASSMAN: For millions of Americans, it's also help finding hope, another casualty of this pandemic.

- Mark Strassman reporting from Atlanta.