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Senate finally PASSES Biden's $1.9trillion COVID bill with no support from Republicans after all-night voting session where Democrats were forced to cut direct payments to $1,400

US Senate - Stimulus (Getty)

    • US Senate commenced a dreaded 'vote-a-thon'  shortly before midnight Friday
    • Finally passed the bill at around midday EST Saturday after a monster session
    • The legislation will now be shipped back to the House for its expected approval 
    • Biden celebrated passing by hailing 'bipartisan support of the American people' 
    • Barack Obama said: 'Elections matter—and we're seeing why. Congratulations'
    • Immediately after the vote, House scheduled vote on the final bill for Tuesday

  • Former president Barack Obama told Biden 'congratulations' in a tweet, adding: 'Elections matter - and we're seeing why'

    Former president Barack Obama told Biden 'congratulations' in a tweet, adding: 'Elections matter - and we're seeing why' 

    Hillary Clinton called the bill 'one of the most ambitious pieces of legislation in a generation'

    Hillary Clinton called the bill 'one of the most ambitious pieces of legislation in a generation' 

    Schumer calls stimulus bill passing: 'Great day for the country"

    He thanked Vice President Kamala Harris and senators 'who worked so hard to reach a compromise' after cuts to unemployment benefits were agreed to secure the support of moderate Democrat Joe Manchin.  

    Biden, who prides himself of his bipartisanship, tried to deflect attention from the lack of any Republican support for the bill by pointing to its overwhelming popularity among voters of all political persuasions.   

    'I really want to thank the American people for making all this possible,' he said. 'How did they make it possible? Quite frankly, without the overwhelming, bipartisan support of the American people, this would not have happened.'  

    What does the COVID relief bill include  

    MORE CHECKS: The legislation provides a direct payment of $1,400 for a single taxpayer, or $2,800 for a married couple that files jointly, plus $1,400 per dependent. Individuals earning up to $75,000 will get the full amount, as will married couples with incomes up to $150,000.

    The size of the check will shrink for those making slightly more, with a hard cut-off at $80,000 for individuals and $160,000 for married couples. Most Americans will be getting the full amount. The median household income was $68,703 in 2019.

    AID TO THE UNEMPLOYED: Expanded unemployment benefits from the federal government will be extended through Sept. 6 at $300 a week. That's on top of what beneficiaries are getting through their state unemployment insurance program. The first $10,200 of jobless benefits would be non-taxable for households with incomes under $150,000. 

    MONEY FOR STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS: The legislation will send $350 billion to state and local governments and tribal governments for costs incurred up until the end of 2024. The bill also requires that small states get at least the amount they received under virus legislation that Congress passed last March. 

    AID TO SCHOOLS: The bill will provide about $130 billion in additional help to schools for students in kindergarten through 12th grade. Spending for colleges and universities will be boosted by about $40 billion.

    AID TO BUSINESSES: A new program for restaurants and bars hurt by the pandemic will receive $25 billion. The grants provide up to $10 million per company with a limit of $5 million per physical location. The grants can be used to cover payroll, rent, utilities and other operational expenses.

    The bill also provides $7.25 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program, a tiny fraction of what was allocated in previous legislation.

    TESTING AND VACCINES: The bill provides $46 billion to expand federal, state and local testing for COVID-19 and to enhance contract tracing capabilities with new investments to expand laboratory capacity and set up mobile testing units. It also contains about $14 billion to speed up the distribution and administration of COVID-19 vaccines across the country.

    HEALTH CARE: Financial assistance for ACA premiums will become considerably more generous and a greater number of solid middle-class households would qualify. Though the sweetened subsidies last only through the end of 2022, they will lower the cost of coverage and are expected to boost the number of people enrolled. 

    BIGGER TAX BREAKS FOR HOUSEHOLDS: Under current law, most taxpayers can reduce their federal income tax bill by up to $2,000 per child. In a significant change, the bill will increase the tax break to $3,000 for every child age 6 to 17 and $3,600 for every child under the age of 6.

    The bill also significantly expands the Earned Income Tax Credit for 2021 by making it available to people without children. The credit for low and moderate-income adults would be worth $543 to $1,502, depending on income and filing status.

    RENTAL AND HOMEOWNER ASSISTANCEThe bill provides about $30 billion to help low-income households and the unemployed afford rent and utilities, and to assist the homeless with vouchers and other support. States and tribes would receive an additional $10 billion for homeowners who are struggling with mortgage payments because of the pandemic.enate majority leader Chuck Schumer said after the bill's passing: 'We tell the American people: help is on the way'. 

    Citing the country's desire to return to normality, he added: 'Our job right now is to help our country get from this stormy present to that hopeful future.' 

    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the bill is a 'tremendous step forward' in providing help to families and small businesses hurting during the coronavirus pandemic.

    'It honors our heroes – our health care workers, food, sanitation and transportation workers, and teachers – who are on the frontlines on the state and local level. 

    'It crushes the virus with the equitable and immediate distribution of the vaccine. And it puts our children safely back in school and puts workers back on the job. Overall, this coronavirus-centric legislation puts nearly a trillion dollars in the pockets of America's families.'

    Barack Obama tweeted: 'Elections matter—and we’re seeing why. Congratulations to the Biden Administration and to the American people on a COVID relief bill that will improve the lives of families across the country.' 

    And Hillary Clinton wrote: 'The American Rescue Plan is one of the most ambitious pieces of legislation in a generation. It will materially help families in dire need. It will help end this pandemic. It will cut child poverty in half. Lots more to do. But let’s celebrate this hard-fought progress.' 

    Far-left Democrats are angry at the size of the package, with Ilhan Omar calling it 'very disappointing'. She added: 'We obviously are now ultimately sending money to less people than the Trump administration.' 

    It came as Democratic Senator for Arizona Kyrsten Sinema was slammed by her own party for 'flippantly' copying John McCain's famous 'thumbs down' to help kill Bernie Sanders' minimum wage amendment.   

    Sen. Sinema, 44, sided with Republicans and seven other senators as she voted down the Sanders amendment - but it was the way she vote her was cast that caused a social media uproar. 

    Sinema, who entered the Senate in January 2019 after serving in the U.S. House and Arizona state Legislature, was shown standing on the House floor, flashing a thumbs down and curtsying as her name was called to cast her vote.

    It was similar to the memorable moment when McCain signaled a thumbs down when he failed to side with other Republicans to overturn the Affordable Care Act in 2017. 

    After Biden previously predicted that a $15 per hour minimum wage increased would not end up being included in his relief package, eight Senate Democrats joined Republicans on Friday in opposing Sanders' bid to include it. 

    Progressive Democrats were also frustrated at a Senate agreement to reduce eligibility for $1,400 stimulus checks. 

    This will see the amount gradually reduced until it reaches zero for people earning $80,000 and couples making $160,000. 

    When asked if she thought this was Biden 'abandoning progressives' Omar responded by calling the vote a 'very disappointing development.'

    'You know, the Senate Majority Republicans were willing to. There are going to be 17 million people who will get less money. This is not the promise that we made. 

    'This is not what we are given the opportunity to be in the majority in the Senate and have the White House. 

    'So ultimately, it is a failure when we compromise ourselves out of delivering on behalf of the American people and in keeping our promises.'

    It came as Moderate Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin struck a deal late on Friday with Senate leaders over emergency jobless benefits, breaking a nine-hour logjam that had stalled the party's showpiece bill.  

    Jobless workers will now receive $300 per week, on top of benefits offered by their state unemployment system, until September 6. 

    That is $100 per week less than the unemployment benefit passed by the House. 

    The bill will now be shipped back to the House - which is expected to give final congressional approval and whisk the bill to President Joe Biden for his signature.   

    The legislation will provide direct payments of up to $1,400 to most Americans and money for COVID-19 vaccines and testing, aid to state and local governments, help for schools and the airline industry and subsidies for health insurance. 

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Comment by mr1stroke on March 7, 2021 at 1:19am

Only an idiot or those who loves hand out will be happy about that democrat stimulus, if this is a relief package why are you giving money to people who had a job during the corona seasons who probably got more over time and was begging to come to work because many others were staying home for different reasons, why give $1400 to people who was making money when you said the people needs help for being unemployed, why give people $400 a week on top of what they are already getting?

Well i see the set up and many wonder why democrats always raise taxes and prices of goods are always high, that money you will have to pay back with interest and they will make sure you pay it back real fast may be during the 4 years of Biden, after that $1400 is spent what will be next, let me guess more unemployment and businesses being close, what are they going to do, give more unemployment benefits like Obama did? Well i am prepare for the crash of the stock market, interest rates are going back and and will rise fast the housing market will be a messe with so many who does not pay their rent and mortgages are not being paid, i make sure i have enough cash on hand especially after taking about $500k from that ppe loan, so the rest of you can enjoy that $1400, i can see it now, more weaves and purses buying, gucci and prada cant wait for the negro customers, the liquor stores are happy, the weed men and Nike cant wait, and of course play station, xbox and the big Tv manufactures are already making extra units for that $1400, party on its government hand outs

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