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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Democrats' coronavirus relief bill will dramatically change many low-income families' lives over the next year. And in the process, it's setting a new precedent for what Washington can and will do in a crisis.

Why it matters: Once President Biden signs the latest relief bill into law, Washington will have spent more than $5 trillion in less than a year — far more than it has spent in past crises.

By the numbers: In a letter to colleagues Tuesday night, Senate Majority Leader Schumer wrote that the poorest 20% of Americans are estimated to see about a 20% boost in income from Biden's bill, citing an analysis from the Tax Policy Center.

  • 85% of households will get $1,400 in stimulus checks; the unemployed will receive an additional $300 per week through the fall; and families with children under 17 will get $3,000 per child.
  • That's in addition to increased rental assistance, food aid and health insurance subsidies. A recent Washington Post analysis found that 54% of Biden's package provides direct aid to individuals, compared with 40% or less in previous packages.

State of play: That's a lot of money to a lot of people — much of it delivered through temporary versions of programs that progressives have been chasing for years.

  • The bill is peppered with progressive priorities — like a refundable child tax credit — that some Democrats are hoping will extend beyond the pandemic.
  • That will depend on future political calculus, but either way, the bill has already upended the conventional wisdom about what's possible.

Between the lines: This bill and the series of other COVID packages passed in the last year work out to just over $43,000 per U.S. household — the type of spending that would have been unthinkable as recently as 2009, when Biden last took office.

  • Flashback: Barack Obama's stimulus package, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, cost $840 billion.

Americans don't seem to mind the spending, and Democrats are betting the popularity of this legislation will propel them through the midterms.

  • Public opinion over the past year has shown that Americans in both parties support immense government aid during a crisis.
  • A Quinnipiac survey taken last month showed more than two-thirds of the country support Biden's rescue package.

The big picture: Economists predict the economy will grow at a pace of well over 6% in both the second and third quarters of 2021 as Biden's stimulus plan kicks in, according to FactSet.

  • This time last year, the Wall Street consensus was that a coronavirus-addled economy would grow by only 2% in 2021.
  • Congressional aides say that the expected economic boon, in conjunction with scientists promising a light at the end of the pandemic tunnel, mean this $2 trillion bill is likely the last mammoth COVID-related package we'll see.

Yes, but: There are also some foreseeable problems that could come back to haunt Democrats. Almost all the relief for families is expiring over the coming year, which could create economic pain down the line.

  • The package is also so big that some experts worry the economy might grow too fast, resulting in inflation.

Go deeper

Burnout, money, concern drive Harris turnover

Vice President Kamala Harris and another potential 2024 presidential candidate, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, appeared together Thursday in Charlotte, N.C. Photo: Logan Cyrus/AFP via Getty Images

Burnout, better opportunities and concern about being permanently branded a "Harris person" is driving some of the turnover in Vice President Kamala Harris's office, people familiar with the situation tell Axios.

Why it matters: Harris is not only a heartbeat from the presidency but, by virtue of her office, the presumed 2024 frontrunner if President Biden doesn't seek re-election. There's been an inordinate amount of disarray — and, now, turnover — throughout her tenure.

Updated 3 hours ago - Health

WHO: Delta health measures help fight Omicron

Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Health measures taken to combat COVID-19 before the emergence of Omicron would also help against the new variant of concern, World Health Organization officials said Friday.

What they're saying: Takeshi Kasai, WHO regional director for the Western Pacific, said during a virtual briefing broadcast from Manila, Philippines, that border controls imposed by the U.S. and other nations can "buy time" to deal with the variant, but warned "every country and every community must prepare for new surges in cases."

4 hours ago - Health

Nevada to impose insurance surcharge on unvaccinated state workers

Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak. Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Nevada's Public Employees' Benefit Program Board voted Thursday to charge workers enrolled in public employee health insurance plans a surcharge of up to $55 a month if they're not vaccinated against COVID-19, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports.

Why it matters: Nevada is the first state to announce such a move, per AP.