Over unanimous Republican opposition, congressional Democrats granted final approval to a $1.9 trillion economic stimulus package on Wednesday.
The amended bill includes $1,400 payments to individual taxpayers, an extension of added unemployment benefits, expanded tax credits, and a mountain of cash for vaccines, testing, state and local governments, and other Democratic priorities.
President Joe Biden is expected to sign the bill on Friday.
“This bill represents a historic, historic victory for the American people,” said Biden, who thanked House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif, for shepherding the bill through a narrowly divided House.
Meanwhile, the Treasury Department reported Wednesday that the federal deficit through February hit an all-time high of $l.05 trillion for the first five months of a budget year. Increased spending, blamed on the pandemic, far outpaced tax revenue.
The October through February deficit was 68 percent larger than the $624.5 billion deficit recorded during the same period last year.
This story originally appeared in WORLD. © 2021, reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.