When to expect payments, other benefits from relief package
UPDATE: White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said people could start seeing direct deposit payments as early as this weekend if they are already set up with direct deposit from the IRS.
WASHINGTON (AP) – Marking a year of loss and disruption, President Joe Biden signed into law a $1.9 trillion relief package that he says will help the U.S. defeat the virus and nurse the economy back to health.
The signing Thursday came hours before Biden delivers his first prime-time address since taking office. He’s aiming to steer the nation toward a hungered-for sentiment — hope — as he marks one year since the onset of the pandemic that has killed more than 529,000 Americans.
Biden originally planned to sign the bill on Friday, but it arrived at the White House more quickly than anticipated.
Speaking at the Oval Office signing ceremony, the president said it’s “clear that an overwhelming percentage of the American people” strongly support the American Rescue Plan.
Biden said the 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.”
Biden said he’d have more to say about the bill’s purpose and the nation’s path forward during his prime time address.
The president’s challenge Thursday night will be to honor the sacrifices made by Americans over the last year while encouraging them to remain vigilant despite “virus fatigue” and growing impatience to resume normal activities given the tantalizing promise of vaccines.