US President Biden signs $1.9 trillion stimulus package to help COVID-19 recovery

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US President Joe Biden signed into law a “historic” $1.9 trillion economic stimulus package on Thursday, saying it would help ordinary Americans recover from the coronavirus crisis.

“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 the country -- a fighting chance,” he said as he signed the bill in the Oval Office.

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Direct deposits from the COVID-19 relief legislation will come as early as this weekend, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said.

With the signing of the stimulus bill, Biden commemorated the one-year anniversary of a US lockdown over the coronavirus pandemic.

“People can expect to start seeing direct deposits hit their bank accounts as early as this weekend. This is, of course, just the first wave,” Psaki said. Payments to eligible Americans will continue throughout the course of the next several weeks, she added.

Nearly 160 million households are expected to get payments, according to White House estimates.

The bill includes an expanded child tax credit of up to $3,000 per child, or $3,600 for each child under age 6. The Internal Revenue Service will pay part of that in monthly installments of $250 or $300 from July through December, adding a benefits distributor role to the revenue collection agency’s responsibilities.

Making one-off payments to those who regularly file tax returns should not be a struggle for the IRS, tax experts said.

Read more: Biden boosts US COVID-19 vaccine stockpile as world waits