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US stimulus package passed in Congress, Biden wins major victory

Joe Biden will promulgate this $ 1900 billion plan on Friday March 12, a staggering amount equivalent to Italy’s GDP.

UNITED STATES – The American Congress adopted this Wednesday, March 10 the colossal economic stimulus plan defended by Joe Biden, a major success 50 days after his arrival at the White House.

Despite the opposition of the Republicans, who denounce extravagant and poorly targeted spending, and a defection in their ranks, the Democrats, the majority in the House of Representatives, were able to approve it by 220 votes to 211.

Joe Biden will enact the $ 1.9 trillion plan on Friday, a staggering amount equivalent to Italy’s GDP. This support program offers workers a “chance to get out of it,” the president said in a statement sent by the White House.

“A decisive turning point in the history of our country”

“We are at a decisive turning point in the history of our country”, launched the Democratic President of the Chamber, Nancy Pelosi, in the hemicycle. “We have a real opportunity to make a difference”, she added, quoting Joe Biden’s message to Americans for months: “Help is coming.” 

“Let’s be clear, this is not a bailout. This is a long list of left-wing priorities that pre-date the pandemic and do not meet the needs of Americans, ”the leader of the Republican minority in the House of Representatives, Kevin McCarthy, had earlier accused.

Taking up the main line of attack of the Republicans, he reaffirmed that only 9% of the plan was “linked to the fight against Covid”. 

An “American rescue plan”

The pandemic has claimed more than 500,000 lives in the United States, and the world’s largest economy contracted 3.5% last year, its worst year since World War II. 

According to experts, the “American bailout”, which is very popular in the polls, should boost growth. 

According to the White House, this “historic” legislation will create more than 7 million new jobs this year and make health care more affordable while saving lives thanks to aid for generalized vaccination. She also says she will cut child poverty in half.

But other economists warn of the risk of inflation.

A check for $ 1,400 per person 

Millions of Americans will collect direct aid checks of up to $ 1,400 per individual and dependent, totaling some $ 400 billion. 

The plan also extends exceptional unemployment benefits until September, which were due to expire on March 14. Joe Biden had promised to act before this deadline, and after marathon sessions in Congress, marked by twists and turns, he succeeded. 

Some $ 15 billion is spent on immunization, $ 50 billion for testing and tracing and $ 10 billion for vaccine production. 

The plan also devotes 126 billion dollars to schools, from kindergarten to high school, to support their reopening despite the pandemic, as well as 350 billion in favor of states and local communities. 

The “most important law […] in decades”

The original plan included a hike in the federal minimum wage that had to be scrapped in the Senate, where the amount of unemployment benefits and the ceiling for receiving checks were also lowered under pressure from a conservative Democrat.

These compromises could raise fears of a sling from the progressives, but the Democratic troops are united behind the Biden plan. It was by welcoming “the most important law passed by Congress to help workers in decades” that independent senator Bernie Sanders approved the plan on Saturday in the upper house. 

In both the House and Senate, only Democrats voted in favor of the stimulus package. A setback for Joe Biden, senator for more than 35 years and arrived at the White House on the promise to find common ground with the Republicans, after the deep divisions of the Trump era. 

The old politician then hopes to reach a better agreement for his next gigantic legislative project, which should concern American infrastructure.

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