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House passes $1.9 trillion COVID relief measure, sending to Biden's desk for signing

The measure passed on the strength of Democrats' majority in the House.

Published: March 10, 2021 1:30pm

Updated: March 10, 2021 4:02pm

The Democrat-controlled House on Wednesday passed a $1.9 trillion COVID relief measure, sending it to President Biden who intends to sign the measure into law. 

The 682-page bill passed on the strength of Democrats' majority in the House, in an effort to bring economic relief to American families and businesses struggling through the deadly, now year-long pandemic.

The vote count was 220-211 along party lines.

The measure passed four days after the Senate passed it without a single Republican vote. GOP members characterized it as bloated and crammed with liberal policies unrelated to COVID-19 while the pandemic's economic woes are easing. 

A major part of the bill is its initiatives to make it one of the biggest federal efforts in years to assist lower- and middle-income families. Included are expanded tax credits over the next year for children, child care and family leave plus spending for renters, feeding programs and people’s utility bills, according to the Associated Press

The measure provides up to $1,400 direct payments to most Americans, extended emergency unemployment benefits and hundreds of billions for COVID-19 vaccines and treatments, schools, state and local governments and ailing industries from airlines to concert halls. There is aid for farmers of color and union-managed pension systems, and subsidies for consumers buying health insurance and states expanding Medicaid coverage for lower earners.

Democrats moved the bill through Congress using budget rules that allowed the bill to pass without votes from Republicans.