Biden celebrates Senate passage of 'desperately needed' Covid-19 rescue plan
Washington [US]: US President Joe Biden on Saturday (local time) hailed the passage of a USD 1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief plan and said "it was so desperately needed, urgently needed".
Speaking at a press conference after the Senate passed the 'America Rescue Plan', Biden said, "I promised the American people help was on the way. Today, I can say we've taken one more giant step forward in delivering on that promise.
He further said, "It obviously wasn't easy. It wasn't always pretty. But it was so desperately needed, urgently needed".
Senate on Saturday (local time) passed the USD 1.9 trillion Covid-19 relief plan after a 12-hour struggle to get Senator Joe Manchin's support in President Joe Biden's 'America Rescue Plan'.
The vote was 50 to 49 on a party-line vote. This was the first legislative victory of the Democrats since gaining the majority at the Senate.
While thanking Senator Chuck Schumer, the President said, "I have never seen anyone work as skillfully, as ably, as patiently with determination to deliver such a consequential piece of legislation that was so urgently needed as the American Rescue Plan. Chuck Schumer when the country needed you most, you led, Chuck, and you delivered."
He also thanked Vice President Kamala Harris as she had presided over all deliberations.
According to CNN, the Democrats kept a Senate roll call vote open for 11 hours and 50 minutes, the longest in recent history, as Senator Manchin signaled he would accept the Republicans' less generous proposal.
The first amendment vote had begun at 11:03 am and was kept open for about 12 hours due to negotiation on a deal on unemployment.
Republicans were even able to temporarily get in their amendment to lower the payments to USD 300 per week through mid-July, but in the end, Democrats agreed to provide a USD 300-per-week payment until September 6, lining up with a deal the party announced on Friday night, The Hill stated.
The nearly USD 2 trillion package includes up to USD 1,400 stimulus checks to many Americans, and billions of dollars for states and municipalities, schools, small businesses and vaccine distribution, CNN reported.
The legislation will now go back to the House for a final vote and then Joe Biden will sign in into law.
"When I was elected, I said we were going to get the government out of the business of battling on Twitter and back into the business of delivering for the American people. Passing the American Rescue Plan will do that," the President said in a tweet. (ANI)