BOSTON (CBS) — The House of Representatives on Wednesday voted to approve the $1.9 trillion COVID relief package, which includes $1,400 stimulus checks to those making under $75,000 annually, and $350 billion in state and local aid. President Joe Biden plans to sign the American Rescue Plan Act into law on Friday.

The Massachusetts Congressional delegation celebrated the passage of the bill, which was not supported by any Republicans in the House or Senate. The GOP has criticized the plan for its cost and scope.

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“Today, we once again showed the American people that help is on the way and finally, the #AmericanRescuePlan is headed to President Biden’s desk for signature,” tweeted Rep. Richard Neal, who is chairman of the Ways & Means Committee.

The bill’s passage is a key legislative victory for Biden, 49 days into his presidency, as he tries to stabilize an American economy that has been hit hard by the coronavirus. According to the White House, many Americans could start receiving their stimulus checks by the end of the month.

Rep. Seth Moulton said in a statement that “Democrats were elected to end the pandemic.”

“The American Rescue Plan will get shots in people’s arms, Americans back to work, money in people’s pockets, and kids back in school,” he said.

Assistant Speaker and Melrose Rep. Katherine Clark called the bill “transformative” and stressed that it would help the 2.3 million women who have lost their jobs due to the pandemic.

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“And it passed with 0 Republican votes. Remember this,” she tweeted.

The bill also provides for $14 billion in vaccine distribution, $130 billion to assist with school reopening, $300 billion in unemployment benefits through September and an expanded tax credit of up to $3,600 per child. Another $50 billion will go toward assistance for small businesses.

 

 

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CBSBoston.com Staff