Joe Biden signs $ 1.9 billion stimulus bill
US President Joe Biden signed a $ 1.9 billion stimulus package into law Thursday afternoon, enacting his primary legislative goal for his first few months based on giving the US economy a tax shake.
Biden signed the legislation on Thursday shortly after 2 p.m. in the Oval Office, a day earlier than previously announced.
Signature of Biden, just a day after the House of Representatives voted to pass the final version of the legislation in Congress, allows the US administration to quickly implement the bill over the next few weeks.
It also sets the stage for an effort by the president to tout the plan’s benefits across the country, with Biden already scheduling a visit to Atlanta, Georgia next week to discuss its impact.
The legislation includes $ 1,400 in direct payments to Americans earning $ 75,000 a year or less, which will need to be disbursed promptly by the US Treasury Department. The controls could lead to a sharp increase in consumer spending as early as April.
Biden’s signing also gives the green light for states to begin processing the extension of federal emergency unemployment benefits, worth $ 300 a week, until early September. Without the stimulus package, aid was due to expire on March 14.
In signing the stimulus bill, Biden cited polls showing strong support for the legislation among the American public.
“Their voices have been heard. I believe this historic bill is about rebuilding the backbone of this country and giving the people of this country – the working people, the middle class, the people who built the country – a chance to fight . This is the essence, ”he said.
In a virtual event with business owners following the signing of the bill, Kamala Harris, vice president, said that “the vast majority of Americans – regardless of what vote they voted for in the last few years. elections – support the US bailout ”.
She added, “This will lift half of America’s children living in poverty, out of poverty.”
White House officials and Democratic lawmakers have touted the stimulus bill as a chance to restart the U.S. economic recovery and protect vulnerable households from the worst effects of the coronavirus pandemic.
The plan received no Republican support, however, as conservative lawmakers attacked it as a vehicle for excessive and unnecessary spending.
Biden will hold a ceremony with members of Congress on Friday to mark the adoption of the plan.
The signing of the stimulus package served as a prelude to Biden’s first televised address to Americans on Thursday night, marking the anniversary of the first coronavirus lockdowns in 2020.
According to a White House official, Biden was scheduled to speak for about 20 minutes about the “sacrifices made by the American people” because of the pandemic and the “greatest operational challenge the country has ever faced” in deployment of vaccinations.
“The President will outline the next steps he will take to bring the pandemic under control, at the level of the American people on what is still needed to defeat the virus and offer a hopeful vision of what is possible if we all come together.” , A White House official said.