A major victory and boost for Joe Biden - GulfToday

A major victory and boost for Joe Biden

Trump’s strike hands Biden edge in 2020 Dems race

Joe Biden

The Congress nod to the $1.9 trillion Bill to combat coronavirus is a major victory and boost for US President Joe Biden and his administration. “This is a historic day. It is the beginning of the end of the great COVID depression,” Democratic Representative Jan Schakowsky said.

It is one of the largest economic stimulus measures in US history.

The measure provides $400 billion for $1,400 direct payments to most Americans, $350 billion in aid to state and local governments, an expansion of the child tax credit and increased funding for vaccine distribution.

Democrats described the legislation as a critical response to a pandemic that has killed over people and rendered millions jobless. Republicans said the measure was too costly and was packed with wasteful progressive priorities.

Democrats were eager to get the final Bill to Biden’s desk for his signature before current federal unemployment benefits expire on March 14. GOP representative Marjorie Taylor Greene and Senator Lindsey Graham however trashed the Bill, saying it was racist towards white people.

The House rejected an effort by Republican Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene to delay proceedings by asking for an adjournment – something she has attempted four times since taking office in January.

As high a figure as 75 per cent of Americans approve of the Bill according to polls, including 59 per cent of Republicans. “It’s a remarkable, historic, transformative piece of legislation which goes a very long way to crushing the virus and solving our economic crisis,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Tuesday.

Some Americans might receive direct payments as soon as this week. Nearly 160 million households are expected to get payments, the White House estimates.

Incarcerated people, those with non-citizen spouses and relatives of those who died in 2020, will be eligible to receive payments.

The Bill also includes an expanded child tax credit of up to $3,000 per child, or $3,600 for each kid under the age of six. The IRS will pay part of this in monthly instalments of $250 or $300 from July till December, adding a benefits distributor role to the revenue collection agency’s responsibilities.

The Treasury Department’s Internal Revenue Service will have new challenges on its hands, though, thanks to the relief Bill, which Biden and his fellow Democrats argue is needed to stem the continuing economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.

“There’s been a lot of talk about this package being too large and too expensive, but if there was ever a time to go big, this should be it,” said Democratic Representative Richard Neal.

Although many Republicans supported coronavirus relief under former President Donald Trump’s administration, no Republican lawmaker voted for the Bill in the House or Senate, although polls have shown it is popular with voters, even Republicans.

The legislation could have high stakes for both parties. If it succeeds in giving the economy a major boost, it also could improve Democrats’ political fortunes as they attempt to hold onto their slim majorities in Congress going into the 2022 mid-term elections.

The Senate had removed a $15 per hour federal minimum wage increase by 2025; tightened the eligibility for $1,400 direct payments, capping them at those earning below $80,000, cut the unemployment insurance payment to $300 per week from the House’s $400, and targeted some of the state and local government aid to smaller communities.

The massive spending push is seen as a major driver, coupled with a quickening pace of COVID-19 inoculations and a slowing infection rate, in a rapidly brightening outlook for the nation’s economy.

For those reeling under the pandemic’s effects, including those suffering crippling job and financial losses, this Bill should serve as a huge relief.

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