President Joe Biden on Thursday signed the $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package, which includes a third stimulus check, for up to $1,400, and an expanded child tax credit. The IRS and Treasury will begin to send the new stimulus checks as soon as this weekend, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Thursday at a press briefing.
The bill signing comes just one day after the amended bill passed in the House by a vote of 220-211. The House initially passed the bill on Feb. 26, and the Senate approved it last week, albeit with some changes.
"This historic legislation is about rebuilding the backbone of this country and giving people in this nation -- working people, middle-class folks, people who built this country -- a fighting chance," said Biden, adding that he'd have more to say on the bill and COVID-19 on Thursday night during his first prime-time address, and over the coming days.
Democrats had been pushing to get the stimulus package signed into law before current unemployment benefits expire March 14. Biden was originally scheduled to sign the bill on Friday, but it got moved forward after Congress sent the final bill to the president more quickly than anticipated, Psaki said on Thursday.
The stimulus package, called the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, includes changes made by the Senate last week, such as reducing income limits for the third stimulus payment and lowering proposed weekly unemployment benefits from $400 a week to $300 a week (though they'd extend through Sept. 6 rather than the end of August). The Senate also dropped a federal minimum wage increase from the legislation, but proponents say they'll reintroduce that at a later date.
Meanwhile, expanded child tax credits for lower-income families and funding for COVID-19 vaccine distribution remain part of the package.
Now that Biden has signed the bill into law, various government agencies will begin to access the funding and ramp up their programs, including sending the third stimulus check. Here's how to find out if you qualify for that.
The $1,400 stimulus check follows two others that qualified Americans received last year: one for $1,200 and a second one for $600. (Here's how those payments all compare to each other.) For this third round of checks, the bill could make adult dependents as well as children and families with mixed-status citizenship eligible for a payment. (Here's how to determine if you qualify for your own stimulus check or count as a dependent and how you can track the new payment.)
See also: When the IRS could send new stimulus checks, after Biden signs Friday