The US House of Representatives has approved President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus aid bill, as Democrats who control the chamber steered the bill towards approval.
The bill was passed by a vote of 219 to 212.
The bill includes USD1,400 direct payments to individuals and USD 400 a week unemployment benefit till August.
Biden welcomed the bill’s passage in the House and said he hoped the Senate would take it up quickly.
“We have no time to waste,” he told reporters on Saturday morning.
“If we act now – decisively, quickly and boldly – we can finally get ahead of this virus, we can finally get our economy moving again. The people of this country have suffered far too much for too long. We need to relieve that suffering.” He pleaded.
The legislature would fund more vaccines and medical supplies and send a new round of emergency financial aid to households, small businesses and state and local governments.
The bill will now be debated at the Congress and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had predicted the bill would pass Congress.
Democrats claimed the package was needed to fight a pandemic that has killed more than 500,000 Americans and thrown millions out of work, while Republicans criticised it as too expensive.
Congress had previously passed more than $4 trillion in COVID-19 relief spending in seven separate instances during 2020.