President Joe Biden announced Saturday that Americans will start receiving their stimulus checks this month, after Senate Democrats passed his $1.9 trillion stimulus package.
"This plan will get checks out the door, starting this month, to the American people who so desperately need the help, many of whom are lying in bed at night, staring at the ceiling, wondering, 'Will I lose my job, if I haven't already? Will I lose my insurance? Will I lose my home?'" Biden said.
In his prepared remarks at the White House, Biden noted that he had promised when he took office in January that "help was on the way" and that the passage of the stimulus package was an effort to deliver on that promise.
The package includes direct payments of $1,400 to individuals earning up to $80,000 a year, or couples earning up to $160,000, as per their most recent tax filings.
Though Democrats had sought to raise the federal minimum wage to $15, they omitted it from the package after a top Senate official said it would violate the rules of the reconciliation process.
Beyond just the checks, the stimulus package also provides $300 per week of jobless aid that will extend through the summer, money for distributing COVID-19 vaccines, a new child tax credit program intended to massively reduce child poverty, and aid for small businesses and schools as well as local and state governments.
"This nation has suffered too much for much too long," Biden said on Saturday. "And everything in this package is designed to relieve the suffering and to meet the most urgent needs of the nation and put us in a better position to prevail, starting with beating this virus and vaccinating the country."
The stimulus package must return to the House of Representatives, which is expected to pass the bill early next week before Biden can sign it into law.