Highlights of the $1.9T COVID bill nearing final passage

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate has passed a sweeping pandemic relief package over Republican opposition, moving closer to a milestone political victory for President Joe Biden.

The $1.9 trillion bill approved Saturday carries direct payments of up to $1,400 for most Americans, extended emergency unemployment benefits and spending for COVID-19 vaccines and testing.

It also provides billions to states and cities, schools and ailing industries.

Democrats say their “American Rescue Plan” will help the country defeat the virus and nurse the economy back to health.

Republicans criticize the measure as more expensive than necessary.

The bill is now headed to the House for final passage.