Washington (AP) - After the approval of the House of Representatives, US President Biden called on the Senate to quickly pass the stimulus package he proposed against the Corona crisis.
"We have no time to lose," said Biden on Saturday (local time) in a brief address in the White House.
"The people in this country have suffered too much for far too long."
His "American rescue plan" alleviates this suffering, said the president.
Biden thanked the House of Representatives, which had approved the stimulus package worth 1.9 trillion US dollars (around 1.6 trillion euros) on Saturday night.
The House of Representatives, dominated by Biden's Democrats, approved the bill with a narrow majority of 219 to 212 votes.
In a next step, the Senate now has to approve, where part of Biden's plan suffered a setback in advance: The official responsible for the procedural rules in this chamber decided that the national minimum wage should not be increased to US $ 15 per hour as part of the economic stimulus package can.
The scope of the measures planned by Biden would correspond to almost ten percent of the US economic output.
The Republicans oppose such a large package.
Biden wants to use the package to stimulate the economy and create millions of new jobs.
Among other things, it provides for direct payments to private households, financial aid for coronavirus tests and for the distribution of vaccines as well as additional support for the unemployed.
Biden said with a view to the approval in the House of Representatives: "We are one step closer to vaccinating the nation."
Help for needy families has also come closer.
Biden and the Democrats are pushing for a hurry because the extended and increased unemployment benefits for millions of Americans will expire on March 14 if the president does not sign the law beforehand.
In the Senate, Democrats and Republicans each have 50 seats, while Vice President Kamala Harris - who is also President of the Chamber - can cast the casting vote in a stalemate.
Congress only passed an aid package worth around $ 900 billion at the end of December.
After the worsening of the pandemic in the United States, Congress also passed economic stimulus packages worth almost three trillion dollars last spring.
The US government's mountain of debt has grown rapidly since then.
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