Senate passes $1.9 trillion Covid relief bill, including $1,400 stimulus checks

The Senate passed a $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package on Saturday, sending it back to the House for expected approval on Tuesday.

The package includes $1,400 stimulus checks, $300-per-week jobless benefits through August, a child allowance of up to $3,600 for one year, $350 billion for state aid, $34 billion to expand Affordable Care Act subsidies and $14 billion for vaccine distribution.

The bill passed 50-49 with zero Republican support.

“It’s been a long day, a long night, a long year, But a new day has come,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said. “We tell the American people ‘help is on the way.'”

Senator Jack Reed helped lead efforts to include a $350 billion state and local fund in the Senate bill and he estimates the state and local provision could provide up to $1.73 billion to Rhode Island state and local governments.

“This should offer a big boost to Rhode Island and help people in every community across the state.  Things are improving and more vaccines are being made available, but we’re not out of the woods yet.  Inaction and half-measures won’t cut it.  These federal resources will help save jobs, lives, and communities,” said Senator Reed.  “This bill provides critical resources for working families, jobseekers, Main Street, and communities nationwide.  States and communities will still have to make hard choices, but this cushions the financial blow and provides a needed dose of certainty and stability at a critical moment for our state and our economy.”

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer released the following statement after Senate passage of the American Rescue Plan.

“The Senate has now passed President Biden’s American Rescue Plan to provide long-awaited relief to Americans suffering from the economic impacts of COVID-19 and to boost our capacity to save lives by ramping up the deployment of testing and vaccines. The help that so many of our people have been waiting for during months of Republican inaction is one step closer,” Hoyer said.

“On Tuesday, the House will consider the Senate’s amended version of the American Rescue Plan, so that we can send this bill to President Biden for his signature early next week. Democrats are delivering on our promise to take action to defeat this virus and provide the assistance the American people need until our economy can reopen safely and fully.”