House Passes COVID-19 Relief Bill

More stimulus checks are on the way. Today the US House passed President Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief plan. As one of his campaign promises, the bill now heads to his desk for signature. The package includes the much-debated additional $1400 in stimulus checks. Once Biden signs the bill into law, Americans could start seeing direct deposits within days, depending on what is on file with the IRS. Others will receive payments via paper checks or prepaid debit cards. In addition to the stimulus payments, the COVID-19 relief bill also expands the child tax credit up to $3600 per child, extends food stamp benefits through September, adds $300 to weekly unemployment benefits, and includes $350 billion in State and Local aid to assist schools, small businesses and continued vaccine development and distribution. It also provides funding to help homeowners and renters.

The House voted across party lines 220-211. No republicans and one democrat, Jared Golden (Maine), voted against the bill. The COVID-19 relief bill is the first significant bill passed with a Democratic-controlled Congress. In a statement, Illinois Speaker Chris Welch said, “The COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating effect on our state. Although we will never forget the lives we have lost and the hardships we have faced, we now know that help is on the way. Today, President Biden and the United States Congress officially approved a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill. The state of Illinois will receive $7.5 billion in assistance, and local governments will receive another $6 billion. This funding will go towards schools, vaccine distribution, improved administration and operations for critical agencies like the Illinois Department of Employment Security, small business support, and financial aid. This act will give direct payments of $1,400 to millions of Illinoisans. It will also extend and enhance unemployment benefits and expand the child tax credit, which will put more money directly in the pockets of our most low-income families. I am grateful to Senators Durbin, Duckworth, and our congressional delegation for making sure Congress took bold, swift action. Once guidelines are issued by federal authorities, I look forward to working with the Pritzker administration and our budget leaders on how to best appropriate these funds, so they meet the needs of our most vulnerable communities. While I know the road to recovery will not be easy, this bill gives us the funds necessary to simultaneously address this health and economic crisis”.

President Biden is expected to sign the COVID-19 relief bill into law on Friday.

Danielle Sanders is a writer and journalist living in Chicago. Find her on social media @DanieSandersofficial.


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