We have no time to waste' - Biden urges Senate to pass $1.9 trillion COVID relief bill
Source :- newzee
President Joe Biden scored his first legislative win as the House of Representatives passed his $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package early Saturday, though Democrats face challenges to their hopes of using the bill to raise the minimum wage. In brief remarks on Saturday (February 27) from the White House's Roosevelt Room, Biden said he called House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to thank her for her support and urged the Senate to take up the bill quickly.
"I hope it will receive quick action. We have no time to waste," Biden said, without taking questions. "The people of this country have suffered far too much for far too long."
The bill's big-ticket items include $1,400 direct payments to individuals, a $400-per-week federal unemployment benefit through Aug. 29, and help for those in difficulty paying rents and home mortgages during the pandemic.
Democrats said the package was needed to fight a pandemic that has killed more than 500,000 Americans and thrown millions out of work.
Republicans, who have broadly backed previous COVID-19 spending, said much of the current package was not necessary. Only 9% of the total would go directly toward fighting the virus, they said.
The action now moves to the Senate, where Democratic Vice President Kamala Harris may have to cast a tie-breaking vote in a chamber where Republicans control 50 seats and Democrats and their allies control the other 50.