President Joe Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act into law on Thursday afternoon. The $1.9 trillion bill aims to help the country recover from the COVID-19 pandemic that has left over 500,000 people dead and jumpstart the economy. President Biden originally announced his intention to sign the American Rescue Plan on Friday but moved up the date due to the urgent need felt by many Americans. Chief of Staff Ron Klain further explained that the White House moved up the signing as it received the bill from the House of Representatives a day early. Klain adds that the White House will still hold a special ceremony with House and Senate leadership on Friday to celebrate the bill’s passage. The bill’s signing comes one year to the day since the World Health Organization characterized COVID-19 as a global pandemic.
Biden called the American Rescue Plan a “historic” piece of legislation that will rebuild the backbone of the United States. The president further promised that the act will be especially beneficial for middle class and working class families. The bill, which is regarded as Biden’s signature piece of legislation, was passed by Congress on Wednesday without Republican support. Although no Republican lawmaker voted for the American Rescue Plan, according to survey data, it nevertheless enjoys widespread support from the public at large. Republican lawmakers defend their position by saying that the act is too expensive for the American people. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell sharply criticized the bill’s passage, alleging that it will be incredibly burdensome for future generations.
Biden lauded passage of the bill in a prime-time address on Thursday evening. In addition to commemorating those who have died in the pandemic, Biden pointed out the steps the nation has taken to finally return to normalcy. Biden says that through the American Rescue Plan, schools will once again begin to open, and families will enjoy new financial security as the economy recovers from the harm of the pandemic.
Biden’s American Rescue Plan features several new pieces of legislation. While the $1,400 stimulus checks are the most well-known part of the act, it also includes an additional $300 in jobless aid, $3,600 in child tax credit, and billions of dollars in aid to schools and small businesses. The bill also includes new measures to finance development and distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine to over 10,000 locations throughout the United States.