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Biden Thanks American People After Congress Passes $1.9 Trillion COVID-19 Relief Bill

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PATRICK LEAHY: The yeas are 50. The nays are 49. The bill as amended is passed.

(CHEERING)

LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

An historic moment yesterday - Congress passed a $1.9 trillion COVID relief package to help ease the suffering of Americans during this pandemic. Here's President Joe Biden.

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PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: This plan puts us on a path to beating the virus. This plan gives those families who are struggling the most the help and the breathing room they need to get through this moment. This plan gives small businesses in this country a fighting chance to survive.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: It's been known as the American Rescue Plan. The package includes a $1,400 stimulus check for qualifying people, more money allotted for free-of-charge vaccines and distribution and extended unemployment benefits. Popular with Americans from both parties, the measure passed using the budget reconciliation process with a simple majority. All present Senate Republicans voted against it. Here is Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

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MITCH MCCONNELL: Senate has never spent $2 trillion in a more haphazard way or through a less rigorous process.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Regardless, President Biden gave thanks.

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BIDEN: Quite frankly, without the overwhelming bipartisan support of the American people, this would not have happened. Your elected officials heard you. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.