Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) walk following a press conference on an agreement of a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) aid package on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., U.S. December 20, 2020.
Ken Cedeno | Reuters
The Senate passed a $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package on Saturday as Democrats rush to send out a fresh round of aid.
The Democratic-held House aims to pass the bill on Tuesday and send it to President Joe Biden for his signature before a March 14 deadline to renew unemployment aid programs. The Senate approved the plan in a 50-49 party line vote as Republicans questioned the need for another broad spending package.
The legislation includes direct payments of up to $1,400 to most Americans, a $300 weekly boost to jobless benefits into September and an expansion of the child tax credit for one year. It also puts new funding into Covid-19 vaccine distribution and testing, rental assistance for struggling households and K-12 schools for reopening costs.
The package also includes $14 billion in payroll support for U.S. airlines, the third round of federal aid for the industry, in exchange for not furloughing or cutting workers’ pay rates through Sept. 30. Airline contractors were set aside $1 billion.
Senate approval brings Biden’s first legislative initiative closer to fruition. While the GOP and some economists criticized the scope of the rescue package as the U.S. vaccination pace picked up, Democrats…