Joe Biden Signs $1.9 Trillion Coronavirus Spending Package

President Joe Biden signs the American Rescue Plan, a coronavirus relief package, in the Oval Office of the White House, Thursday, March 11, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

President Joe Biden signed a $1.9 trillion coronavirus rescue package in the Oval Office Thursday.

The president read a brief statement to reporters from a card of talking points to promote the bill.

“This historic legislation is about rebuilding the backbone of this country,” Biden said, adding the bill would give the working and middle classes a “fighting chance.”

Biden signed the bill, thumped the pen on the desk, and said, “Got it,” before standing up with Vice President Kamala Harris to leave the room.

He did not respond to reporters who shouted questions as he departed.

“There’s going to be plenty of opportunities. We’re going to be on the road,” he said to reporters before signing the bill.

Biden said the bill was widely supported by both parties and independents, even though Republicans did not vote for it.

The partisan bill was passed by a simple majority of Democrats in the Senate, using budget reconciliation to dodge a Republican filibuster.

Biden boasted Saturday that Sen. Bernie Sanders said the bill is “the most progressive bill he’s ever seen passed since he’s been here.”

“The compromises were all compromises that didn’t affect the substance and the essence of what the bill is,” he said.

The president’s “American Rescue Plan” contains more than $120 billion of unrelated spending programs and bailouts for state and local governments to fill holes in their budgets.

Biden will speak to the country Thursday evening about the ongoing fight against the coronavirus.

On Friday, he plans to celebrate the passage of the bill with Democrats at the White House.

The White House has scheduled several trips next week across the country for Biden and Harris, as well as their spouses, to promote the bill.

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