Biden touts COVID relief bill: 'It changes the paradigm'

Measure includes $1,400 checks, child tax credit increase.
Joe Biden in the Rose Garden, Mar. 12
Joe Biden in the Rose Garden, Mar. 12

President Joe Biden on Friday celebrated the passage of the third COVID-19 relief bill, claiming it "changes the paradigm" in the country after a year of the COVID-19 pandemic and its attendant lockdowns and restrictions. 

Biden claimed the bill "puts working people in this nation first." The law will send direct payments of $1,400 to most Americans; it also expands the child tax credit, with parents receiving up to $3,600 per child for the 2021 tax year. 

The measure also extends enhanced unemployment benefits. Its relief provisions are intended to offset the crushing economic blow that COVID-19 lockdowns and shutdowns have delivered over the past year. 

Vice President Kamala Harris also celebrated the bill's passage during the ceremony, claiming its effects on the American people will be felt "for generations to come."

Republicans and independent analysts have argued that less than 10% of the $1.9 trillion goes directly to COVID relief, and that it will add trillions to the national debt.