[Ed. – Less than 10% of it is for COVID-19 relief, so it’s inaccurate to call it a “COVID relief bill.” The 50-49 vote reflects Dan Sullivan of Alaska being out of town for a funeral. His vote would have made no difference, of course. The House will take it up for final reconciliation on Monday.]
The Senate passed a $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package on Saturday as Democrats rush to send out a fresh round of aid.
The Democratic-held House aims to pass the bill on Tuesday and send it to President Joe Biden for his signature before a March 14 deadline to renew unemployment aid programs. The Senate approved the plan in a 50-49 party line vote as Republicans questioned the need for another broad spending package.
The legislation includes direct payments of up to $1,400 to most Americans, a $300 weekly boost to jobless benefits into September and an expansion of the child tax credit for one year. It also puts new funding into Covid-19 vaccine distribution and testing, rental assistance for struggling households and K-12 schools for reopening costs.