The US House of Representatives has passed President Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion stimulus bill, which includes a third stimulus check for up to $1,400. The bill passed 219-212 late Friday night, and will now head to the Senate for a vote. The package is on track to pass before current unemployment benefits expire March 14.
The stimulus package, called the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, would deliver a new stimulus payment as soon as next month. It would also extend $400 weekly unemployment benefits until the end of August and allocate money for COVID-19 vaccine distribution. The bill includes language around gradually increasing the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour, though this faces strong opposition in the Senate and could be removed because it may not meet certain rules that apply to the unique way Democrats are trying to get the bill passed.
Read more: New stimulus check: Status update, biggest unknowns, what could cause a delay
Democrats, who now control the House and Senate thanks to Vice President Kamala Harris's tie-breaking vote, are speeding up the passage of a bill using a technique called budget reconciliation, which will allow them to move forward without Republican support. (GOP leaders have said the amount of the nearly $2 trillion stimulus bill is too high.)
Last year, qualified Americans received two stimulus checks: one for $1,200 and a second one for $600. 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.