MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – The U.S. Senate narrowly passed President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package on Saturday, with both of Minnesota’s Democratic senators voting in favor.
The bill, called the American Rescue Plan, passed 50-49 along party lines, as GOP Sen. Dan Sullivan of Alaska left due to a family emergency. The bill includes a provision which provides $1,400 in direct checks to those making under $75,000. It also includes weekly $300 unemployment checks, and no change to the federal minimum wage.
The legislation heads back to the House; if it is approved, Biden will then sign it.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar said “help is on the way” for workers, small families, and businesses which have suffered due to the virus.
We just passed the pandemic relief bill! Americans need help now and we got it done. This package expands vaccine distribution and delivers economic support to workers, families and small businesses. As we round the corner of this pandemic, help is on the way.
— Amy Klobuchar (@amyklobuchar) March 6, 2021
“This package expands vaccine distribution and testing, provides direct economic support to workers and families, and supports small businesses,” she said. “We are in the midst of the greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression and the most dire public health crisis in over a century. Americans need more help to get through the pandemic, and now it is on the way.”
Smith also supported the plan, saying it would allow the country to better fight the pandemic, and provide resources to hard-hit and struggling families.
“The rescue package the Senate passed today will not only give us the tools to fight the pandemic with much-needed support for coronavirus testing, vaccines, as well as help for front line health care workers, but also provide assistance for hard-hit families, businesses, farmers, veterans, and Tribal communities,” she said. “The plan will help reopen our schools safely, provide direct support and tax relief to families, and give our states and communities needed resources to build resilience and build back better.”