US Senate Approves Billion Dollar Stimulus Package | Free press

The volume is equivalent to nearly ten percent of US economic output: The US Senate has approved the stimulus package that President Biden had asked for. Approval in the House of Representatives is considered certain.

Washington (AP) – The US Senate has approved the new economic stimulus package proposed by President Joe Biden to deal with the Corona crisis.

The package of measures worth about $ 1.9 trillion (about $ 1.6 trillion) now has to be renegotiated in the House of Representatives. Democrats have a majority in the Chamber of Parliament, so approval is considered pretty secure.

After several days of deliberations and amendments, 50 Democrats voted in favor of the package on Saturday, 49 Republicans against. A Republican senator was missing from the vote. In the event of a stalemate, Democratic Vice President Kamala Harris could have cast the casting vote to push the package through.

The size of the package of measures corresponds to nearly ten percent of US economic output. Republicans reject such a large package. Biden wants to use the package to stimulate the economy and create millions of new jobs. Among other things, it provides instant payments for most taxpayers of $ 1,400. There should also be financial support for coronavirus tests, the vaccination campaign, school openings and extra support for the unemployed.

Biden hopes to have the law come into effect by mid-March with his signature. Otherwise, the extended and increased unemployment benefits for millions of Americans would expire on March 14. Unemployment benefits, which are often very low in the US, are now being increased by $ 300 a week through September. There was a dispute on this point to the end. Biden was aiming for $ 400 a week. A Democrat, Joe Manchin, blocked that.

Congress only passed an aid package worth about $ 900 billion in late December. Following the worsening pandemic in the United States, Congress also passed economic stimulus packages worth nearly $ 3 trillion last spring. The US government’s mountain of debt has grown rapidly since then.

The current economic stimulus package has passed through parliament through a complex mediation process to avoid a blockade of Republicans in the Senate. A majority of 60 out of 100 votes would have been required in the Senate through the regular legislative process – so the Democrats would have needed ten Republicans.

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