BIDEN SIGNS COVID STIMULUS BILL INTO LAW A DAY EARLIER
US President Joe Biden signed the $1.9-trillion American Rescue Plan on March 12, 2021 (Manila), a day earlier than planned, Lena Klimkeit reported for Deutsche Presse-Agentur (dpa).
Biden said he hoped the plan would "rebuild the backbone of the country" and give people a fighting chance, in a video posted on Twitter by the White House. Getting the measure through Congress was a major victory for the new president.
Aside from freeing up funding to support a pandemic-stricken economy, it also includes a sweeping expansion of the country's social safety net.
The White House said Biden had originally been expected to ink the legislation on Friday, but Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Biden had been able to move up the signing because Congress went through the bureaucratic enrollment process of the bill “more quickly than we anticipated,” US media reported.
Biden is then due to deliver his first prime-time address to commemorate one year since the pandemic began shutting down much of the nation's public life.
He will "discuss the many sacrifices the American people have made over the last year and the grave loss communities and families across the country have suffered," Psaki said this week.
Biden, who has been in office nearly two months, made it his top priority to accelerate the federal response to the nation's coronavirus crisis, which has killed almost 530,000 people.