US: $1.9 Trillion Relief Deal Ready for Biden’s Signature

President of the United States of America Joe Biden
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The House passed President Biden’s sweeping $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package Wednesday. The President will sign it Friday.

The bill passed in a starkly partisan 220-211 vote, sending the legislation to the White House and clinching Democrats’ first big legislative victory in the Biden era.  A key aspect of the measure will dole out single  $1.400 payments to most US taxpayers and retirees.

No Republican lawmakers backed the legislation, which will become law as much of the nation marks one year of lockdowns from the COVID-19 era. Just one Democrat, Rep. Jared Golden (Maine), opposed the measure.

Defense connections: The bill includes an extension of what’s known as Section 3610 authorities, which allows the Pentagon to reimburse contractors for delays and other added costs due to the pandemic. The extension goes to Sept. 30.

The bill also included a key priority for veterans by closing the so-called 90/10 loophole that incentivized for-profit schools to target GI Bill recipients. Under federal law, for-profit schools have to collect at least 10 percent of their revenue from sources other than federal education funds, but GI Bill funding wasn’t being counted toward that.

What’s next: Biden has said he will sign the measure as soon as it reaches his desk, with the White House saying he’s expected to sign it on Friday. The president is set to address the nation Thursday evening on the coronavirus pandemic.


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