Congress OKs massive virus relief bill; stimulus far-reaching

The $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill will give $1,400 payments to most Americans and extend $300 weekly emergency unemployment benefits. But it also addresses several other funding issues Democrats consider priorities.

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National News

March 11, 2021 - 9:51 AM

President Joe Biden speaks in the State Dining Room of the White House on March 2, 2021, in Washington, D.C. Biden spoke about the recently announced partnership between Johnson & Johnson and Merck to produce more J&J COVID-19 vaccine. Photo by (Doug Mills/Pool/Getty Images/TNS)

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Congress riven along party lines has approved the landmark $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill, as President Joe Biden and Democrats claimed a major triumph on legislation marshaling the government’s spending might against twin pandemic and economic crises that have upended a nation. 

The House gave final congressional approval Wednesday to the sweeping package by a near party line 220-211 vote precisely seven weeks after Biden entered the White House and four days after the Senate passed the bill. Republicans in both chambers opposed the legislation unanimously, characterizing it as bloated, crammed with liberal policies and heedless of signs the crises are easing.

“Help is here,” Biden tweeted moments after the roll call, which ended with applause from Democratic lawmakers. Biden said he’d sign the measure Friday. 

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