President BidenJoe BidenManchin cements key-vote status in 50-50 SenateThe Memo: How the COVID year upended politicsPost-pandemic plans for lawmakers: Chuck E. Cheese, visiting friends, hugging grandkidsMORE will sign his $1.9 coronavirus relief proposal on Thursday afternoon, the White House announced, a day earlier than expected.
The White House issued an updated guidance on Thursday saying Biden would sign the American Rescue Plan, which passed the House on Wednesday in a party-line vote, in the Oval Office at 1:30 p.m. Vice President Harris is expected to attend but the guidance did not specify whether there would be additional guests.
Biden is slated to deliver a primetime address Thursday evening to mark one year since the coronavirus lockdowns in the United States. He is expected to reflect on the sacrifices Americans have made and the lives lost and discuss his administrations efforts to ramp up vaccine production, according to a White House official.
Biden also plans to lay out the next steps he will take to get the pandemic under control, level with the American people about what is still required to defeat the virus and provide a hopeful vision of what is possible if we all come together, according to the official.
The speech will also present an opportunity for Biden to take a victory lap following his first legislative accomplishment with the passage of his coronavirus relief plan.
The bill includes funding for $1,400 direct payments to Americans who qualify, funding for vaccines and school reopenings, an expansion of the child tax credit, relief for small businesses, assistance for state and local governments, among other measures.
The House approved the bill in a 220-211 vote on Wednesday afternoon. No Republicans backed the bill and one Democrat voted against it. The Senate approved the bill over the weekend.
White House press secretary Jen PsakiJen PsakiOn The Money: House passes COVID-19 relief bill in partisan vote | Biden to sign Friday | Senate confirms Fudge to lead HUDBiden under pressure to get ,400 payments out quicklyWhite House searches for solution to border rushMORE indicated Wednesday that it would take time for the bill text to reach the White House. She said it was expected to arrive sometime on Thursday and that Biden would sign the bill on Friday, a schedule that has now been moved up.