Transcript for Senate passed $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill
We start with that breaking news -- the $1.9 trillion covid relief bill passing the senate, clearing a major hurdle to get stimulus aid directly to struggling Americans. President Biden this afternoon from the white house celebrating the senate vote, calling it one more giant step toward delivering on his promise to help the American people. Senators voting along party lines after more than 25 hours considering and amending the package, working into the early morning hours. Up next, the house, where it's expected to win approval next week. That's just in time for millions set to lose their unemployment benefits. Instead, the bill would extend those benefits through September 6th, and many Americans would receive direct payments of $1,400. The bill also includes billions for vaccine distribution, contact tracing and schools. Republicans united in opposition, saying it's too expensive. ABC white house correspondent Maryalice parks leads us off. Reporter: Tonight, the senate passing Democrats' nearly $2 trillion covid relief package, bringing president Biden one step closer a major win on a campaign promise. When we took office 45 days ago, I promised American people help was on the way. Today I can say we've taken one more giant step forward in delivering on that promise. Reporter: The bill including billions of dollars in aid for states, schools, and small businesses. Plus direct $1,400 payments to many Americans. This plan will get checks out the door starting this month to the American people who so desperately need the help. Reporter: Today after the senate voted for more than 25 straight hours on dozens of last-minute amendments, Democrats approving the measure alone. Republicans firmly united against the plan. The senate has never spent $2 trillion in a more haphazard way or through a less rigorous process. Reporter: The vote coming after the process was held up for nearly 12 hours overnight as Democrats worked to get moderate West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin on board with the plan to extend expanded unemployment benefits through the first week of September, but agreeing to keep them at $300 a week instead of $400. In Ohio, Stacy Rodriguez says that stimulus check could help keep her family afloat. She was hospitalized with covid-19 last year, and her daughter recently needed surgery, too. To some people $1,400 is nothing to them, but it can mean I'm able to pay some of our electric bills, our gas bill at home, our mortgage payment, I'm able to buy her medications. So many Americans desperate for this aid. Let's get to Maryalice parks on capitol hill. We heard in your piece the president say those checks will be out the door this month, but what needs to happen between now and then, and what are members of the house saying as this revised bill heads back their way? Reporter: Yeah, whit, that's the phenomenal step. This senate bill needs to go back to the house for final passage. Democratic leaders there confident, signaling today they think they can move fast. They want to vote Tuesday, but they only have a slim margin there. They have to keep their ranks together if they can get this done next week and get it to the president's desk. Whit? Maryalice parks, thank you.
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