President Joe Biden praised the $1.9 trillion stimulus bill and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) on Wednesday afternoon, following the final approval by Congress of the so-called American Rescue Plan, the president’s first major legislative initiative.
“This legislation is about giving the backbone of this nation – the essential workers, the working people who built this country, the people who keep this country going – a fighting chance,” said Biden in a statement released by the White House after the stimulus bill was approved by Congress.
“I want to thank all the members who voted for it, especially Speaker Pelosi, the finest and most capable speaker in the history of our nation. Once again, she has led into law an historic piece of legislation that addresses a major crisis and lifts up millions of Americans,” he said.
Biden, who plans to sign the bill at the White House on Friday afternoon, touted some of the numerous provisions of the stimulus, including a measure authorizing $1,400 direct stimulus checks, resources to small businesses, and expanded unemployment insurance benefits.
As The Daily Wire previously reported, the bill provides $350 billion for aid to states, local governments and tribal governments, $140 billion for schools, $28.6 billion for restaurants, and extends unemployment booster benefits at $300 per week until early September. Full direct checks will be sent out to individuals making less than $75,000 per year — with partial checks sent out to those making less than $80,000 — and to couples making less than $150,000 per year. Joint-filing couples will receive partial checks if they make less than $160,000 per year.
The House approved the Senate-passed bill along party lines in a 220-211 vote. No Republicans voted in favor of the bill, and only one Democrat, Congressman Jared Golden of Maine, voted against it.
“Borrowing and spending hundreds of billions more in excess of meeting the most urgent needs poses a risk to both our economic recovery and the priorities I would like to work with the Biden Administration to achieve, like rebuilding our nation’s infrastructure and fixing our broken and unaffordable healthcare system,” said Golden in a statement Wednesday.
Aside from Golden’s vote, House Democrats have largely been united in support of the bill. Shortly before the vote on the House floor, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) called the bill a “force for fairness and justice” in the country.
“This legislation is one of the most transformative and historic bills any of us will have the opportunity to support, it’s one of the most transformative that I have seen in my more than thirty years in the Congress. It is as consequential as the Affordable Care Act,” remarked Pelosi.
Republicans, however, voiced opposition to the legislation, and raised particular concerns about the size and scope of the legislation.
“This isn’t a rescue bill, it isn’t a relief bill. It’s a laundry list of left-wing priorities that predate the pandemic and do not meet the needs of American families,” said House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA).
“Democrats say they need $130 billion to reopen schools. But their bill only allocates $6 billion to help schools this fiscal year,” he said. “Two-thirds of the total funding for education won’t even be spent until 2023 or later. But don’t worry, San Francisco will get their money now. The schools need to wait.”
The Daily Wire is one of America’s fastest-growing conservative media companies and counter-cultural outlets for news, opinion, and entertainment. Get inside access to The Daily Wire by becoming a member.