18:34 GMT19 April 2021
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    On Saturday morning, the House approved the legislation by a 219-212 vote, which saw no Republican support of the document.

    President Joe Biden has called on the Senate to swiftly pass his $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package, also known as the American Rescue Plan that was earlier okayed by the House.

    "Now, the bill moves to the United States Senate, where I hope it will receive quick action. We have no time to waste. If we act now, decisively, quickly and boldly, we can finally get ahead of this virus", Biden said at a White House briefing on Saturday.

    He stressed the need to get the US economy "moving again", adding that the American Rescue Plan would shore up ordinary Americans who "have suffered far too much for too long" amid the coronavirus pandemic.

    "With their [Senate] vote, we're one step closer to vaccinating the nation. We are one step closer to putting $1,400 in the pockets of Americans. We are one step closer to extending the unemployment benefits for millions of Americans who are shortly going to lose them", Biden pointed out.

    The remarks came hours after the House voted 219 to 212 to approve the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill, with every Republican and two Democrats voting against the measure.

    The Republican Party's House Minority Leader, Kevin McCarthy, rejected the package as a "liberal pipedream", arguing that Democrats were "jamming it through in the dead of night".

    "Don't call it a rescue bill. Don't call it a relief bill. For the American people, it is a loser", McCarthy asserted.

    One of the bill's biggest provisions is $1,400 in direct checks for Americans making less than $75,000 annually.

    The legislation also extends a federal bonus to unemployment benefits through August, elevating the amount to $400 per week. In addition, it provides more aid to small businesses and allocates $75 billion for COVID-19 vaccinations and treatments.

    Critics earlier warned the legislation risks causing a spike in inflation that could further swell the nation's $28 trillion debt.

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    package, relief, coronavirus, COVID-19, US Senate, US House, Joe Biden, US
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