Biden Signs Coronavirus Relief Package

U.S. President Joe Biden signed his $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package into law Thursday, opening the door for the release of federal aid for financially ailing American households and businesses.Biden, a Democrat, signed the package one day after the House of Representatives approved the bill 220-211 without Republican support and one day earlier than the White House initially had planned.“This historic legislation is about building a backbone in this country and giving people in this country, working people, middle-class folks, people who built the country, a fighting chance,” Biden said as he prepared to sign the bill.Republican lawmakers objected to the package, saying it was too large and did not sufficiently target those who were most in need of economic assistance. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy on Tuesday called the bill “costly, corrupt and liberal.”No federal minimum wage hikeThe measure narrowly passed in the Senate on Saturday after the chamber altered some aspects of a bill approved earlier by the House. Among the changes was the removal of an increase in the federal minimum wage.White House press secretary Jen Psaki speaks to reporters at the White House, March 11, 2021, in Washington.White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki praised the legislation at a news conference Monday, saying that while there were some changes on the margins as the Senate acted, it represented the “core” of what Biden proposed.On Tuesday, she said Biden and other senior administration officials planned to continue to tout the benefits of the relief plan after it passed.“We certainly recognize that we can’t just sign a bill,” Psaki told reporters. “We will need to do some work and use our best voices, including the president, the vice president and others, to communicate to the American people the benefits of this package.“So, I think you can certainly expect the president to be doing some travel, and we’ll have more details on that in the coming days,” she said. 

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