News: Biden signs $1.9 trillion stimulus bill into law on U.S. lockdown anniversary.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Joe Biden signed his $ 1.9 trillion bill on Thursday to commemorate the year-long anniversary of a U.S. coronavirus pandemic lockdown with a measure that will bring relief to Americans and the economy should crank.
The Democratically run US House of Representatives finally approved the measure in Congress on Wednesday and gave the Democratic President a great victory in the first few months of his term in office.
“This historic piece of legislation is about rebuilding the backbone of this country,” Biden said before signing.
Biden signed the measure ahead of a prime-time speech he plans later Thursday to mark the anniversary of the lockdown, calling for vigilance as the pandemic rages and offering hope amid growing numbers of vaccinated people across the country.
Biden’s signing of the law, called the American Rescue Plan, was originally scheduled for Friday, but White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain said it was postponed after arriving at the White House Wednesday night.
“We want to move forward as quickly as possible,” wrote Klain on Twitter. A celebration with congressional leaders would take place on Friday, he said.
The package provides for $ 400 billion for $ 1,400 in direct payments to most Americans, $ 350 billion for state and local governments, an increase in child tax credits, and an increase in funding for the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines in front.
The White House says direct deposits from the Covid-19 bill will be made this weekend
Biden, who campaigned for a pledge to contain the pandemic more effectively than his Republican predecessor Donald Trump, has told Americans since his inauguration in January that COVID-19 is causing more death and pain.
As the vaccinated population slowly increases, Biden instills renewed hope, even as he urges people to continue to be careful to prevent further flare-ups.
Biden and Top Aides are planning a nationwide tour to educate Americans about the benefits of pandemic relief, including Pennsylvania this coming Tuesday and Atlanta March 19.
In the US, around 530,000 people have died from COVID-19, and around 10% of Americans have been fully vaccinated.
Biden said Wednesday he would use his address at 8:00 p.m. EST (0100 GMT) to discuss “what we have been through as a nation over the past year,” and set out the next phase in the government’s COVID-19 response.
The president is expected to warn Americans, like people around the world, tired of pandemic restrictions, not to return to normal behavior prematurely. Biden has called for continued mask wear, social distancing, and good hygiene, and has kept cities and states from relaxing their guidelines for large gatherings, even as more places relax restrictions.
Trump downplayed the crisis in its early stages and refrained from wearing masks while repeatedly predicting the virus would soon go away, even if his administration pushed for vaccine development to be accelerated.
Former president and wife Melania Trump did not appear in a public notice released Thursday promoting COVID-19 vaccinations and introducing all other living former US presidents and their spouses.
Reporting by Jeff Mason; additional reporting from Andrea Shalal and Susan Heavey; Editing by Heather Timmons, Will Dunham and Howard Goller
Original Source © Reuters