WASHINGTON, Feb 27: The House approved a USD 1.9 trillion pandemic relief Bill that was championed by President Joe Biden, the first step in providing another dose of aid to a weary nation as the measure now moves to a tense Senate.

The new President’s vision for infusing cash across a struggling economy to individuals, businesses, schools, states and cities battered by COVID-19 passed on a near party-line 219-212 vote early Saturday.

That ships the Bill to the Senate, where Democrats seem bent on resuscitating their minimum wage push and fights could erupt over state aid and other issues.

Democrats said that mass unemployment and the half-million American lives lost are causes for quick, decisive action. GOP lawmakers, they said, were out of step with a public that polling finds largely views the Bill favorably.I am a happy camper tonight,” Rep Maxine Waters, D-Calif, said on Friday.This is what America needs. Republicans, you ought to be a part of this. But if you’re not, we’re going without you.”

Republicans said the Bill was too expensive and said too few education dollars would be spent quickly to immediately reopen schools.

They said it was laden with gifts to Democratic constituencies like labor unions and funneled money to Democratic-run states they suggested didn’t need it because their budgets had bounced back. To my colleagues who say this bill is bold, I say it’s bloated,” said House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif.

It also provides billions for schools and colleges, state and local governments, COVID-19 vaccines and testing, renters, food producers and struggling industries like airlines, restaurants, bars and concert venues. – PTI