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[HOUSE SPEAKER NANCY PELOSI]: “On this vote, the yeas are 220, the nays are 211. The motion is adopted.”
The U.S. Congress on Wednesday passed one of the largest economic stimulus packages in U.S. history, a sweeping $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill that gives President Joe Biden his first major legislative win.
[U.S. PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN]: “This bill represents a historic, historic victory for the American people.”
The House of Representatives gave final approval to the measure, which provides direct payments of $1,400 to most Americans, $350 billion in aid to state and local governments and increased funding for vaccine distribution.
Approval in the Democratic-controlled House came after weeks of partisan debate and wrangling in Congress.
Although many Republicans supported coronavirus relief under former President Donald Trump, not a single Republican lawmaker voted for the bill in the House or Senate.
Democrats see the legislation as a critical response to a pandemic that has killed more than 528,000 people in the country and thrown millions out of work.
[DEMOCRATIC HOUSE MAJORITY LEADER STENY HOYER]: “It will put money in Americans’ pockets. It will put children back in classrooms. It will put millions of Americans back to work and reopen businesses safely.”
Republicans said the measure was too costly and packed with wasteful progressive priorities.
[REPUBLICAN REPRESENTATIVE LAUREN BOEBERT]: "This is nothing more than a trashy spending spree while doing nothing for those who have suffered the most from this China virus."
Nevertheless, Republican-leaning states are due to get a disproportionate share of many of its benefits, including education and child-care aid per resident, according to estimates from two congressional committees.
And it’s popular with the public. A Reuters/Ipsos poll showed that 70% of Americans support the plan.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Biden plans to sign the bill Friday, and that he, Vice President Kamala Harris and First Lady Jill Biden would hit the road to promote it to Americans.
“I’m going to talk about what comes next….”
The bill’s passage comes as Biden prepares to deliver his first primetime address to the nation Thursday, marking one year since the country’s first COVID-19 shutdowns.