Biden takes victory lap on his COVID relief bill

"This is not the end of our efforts though, I view it as only the beginning," Biden said at the White House, standing alongside Vice President Kamala Harris, Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer and U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

The massive legislative package, which received final congressional approval on Wednesday, passed with Democratic majorities in the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate, but no Republican votes, despite broad popular support.

The bill will send $1,400 checks to millions of households, extend unemployment benefits and put billions of dollars into state budgets and industries after a year-long pandemic that has killed over 526,000 Americans and put millions out of work.

Biden and the vice president will go on a nationwide tour to sell Americans on the benefits of the newly passed bill.

Video Transcript

JOE BIDEN: I promised the American people-- and I guess it's becoming an overused phrase-- that help was on the way. But today, with the American Rescue Plan now signed into law, we delivered on that promise. And I don't mean I've delivered. We've delivered. And I want to say to Bernie, Bernie, stepping up and making the case why this was so transformational made a big difference in how a lot of people voted.

The bill was supported overwhelmingly by the American people-- Democrats, Independents, and Republicans-- and had a strong support of governors and mayors across the country in both parties, red states and blues. This legislation, everybody's already mentioned, will provide $1,400 in direct payments, which we all promised. This legislation extends unemployment insurance by $300 a week until September. It's going to help 11 million Americans who were days from losing that benefit. It provides help for small businesses to stay open. We have to spend this money to make sure we have economic growth, unrelated to how much its going to help people.

And the bill does one more thing, which I think is really important. It changes the paradigm. For the first time in a long time, this bill puts working people in this nation first. It's not hyperbole. It's a fact.

[APPLAUSE]

It's time that we build an economy that grows from the bottom up and the middle out, the middle out. This law is not the end of our efforts, though. I view it as only beginning. Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you. Appreciate it.

[APPLAUSE]