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Photo: Kevin Dietsch/UPI/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The House voted 220-211 on Wednesday to approve the Senate's revised version of President Biden's $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package, sending the bill to Biden's desk to be signed.

Why it matters: The passage of the American Rescue Plan is the first — and potentially defining — legislative victory of Biden's presidency, marking a key milestone in his pledge to steer the U.S. out of the coronavirus crisis.

What they're saying: "This legislation is about giving the backbone of this nation — the essential workers, the working people who built this country, the people who keep this country going — a fighting chance," Biden said in a statement following the bill's passage.

The big picture: The package is being touted by Democrats as one of the most consequential anti-poverty bills of the modern era, with the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center projecting that it will boost incomes for the poorest 20% of Americans by 20%.

  • Current unemployment benefits expire for millions of Americans in less than a week, a deadline that pushed Congress to act quickly on one of the largest spending packages in U.S. history.
  • Polling shows the bill enjoys widespread bipartisan support within the general public, though some experts worry that a massive injection of stimulus into the recovering economy might result in inflation.

How we got here: The massive spending package was passed via budget reconciliation, a process that allows the Senate to approve legislation with a simple majority vote, rather than the usual 60-vote threshold.

  • Had Democrats not clinched control of the Senate by winning the two runoff elections in Georgia in January, the size of the package — if one existed at all — would have been far smaller.
  • The bill passed in the Senate last week 50-49 after a marathon of late-night amendments, which only began after Republicans forced the clerk to read the entire 628-page bill out loud — a process that took 11 hours.
  • The House vote fell almost exactly along party lines, with one Democrat — Rep. Jared Golden of Maine — voting against it.

Details: The bill approves $1,400 stimulus payments for individuals making up to $75,000 and couples making $150,000. It will also extend weekly $300 unemployment insurance until Sept. 6. Other highlights include:

  • An increased child tax credit in 2021 of $3,600 for children up to age 5 and up to $3,000 for ages 6–17.
  • $128.6 billion to help K-12 schools reopen.
  • $19 billion in emergency rental assistance.
  • $25 billion to help restaurants.
  • $46 billion for coronavirus testing and tracing.
  • $5.2 billion to support the research and development of vaccines.
  • $7.25 billion for Paycheck Protection Program loans.

What to watch: The White House says Biden will sign the bill on Friday and that stimulus checks will begin going out before the end of the month.

Go deeper

Civil rights leaders plan a day of voting rights marches

Martin Luther King III and Rev. Al Sharpton. Photo: Cheriss May/Getty Images

Civil rights leaders from Washington to Phoenix are planning marches on Aug. 28 to push Congress to pass new protections around voting rights.

Why it matters: A landmark voting rights proposal remains stalled in the U.S. Senate, as Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) and other moderates block efforts at filibuster reforms to advance a bill held up by Republicans.

Latinos twice as likely as white people to die from gunfire

Expand chart
Data: Violence Policy Center; Chart: Will Chase/Axios

Nearly 3,000 Latinos each year have died from gunfire in the United States over the last two decades, making them twice as likely to be shot to death than white non-Hispanics, according to a study from the Violence Policy Center.

By the numbers: Almost 70,000 Latinos were killed with firearms between 1999 and 2019, 66% of them in homicides, according to the center’s data analysis.

Top labor leader Richard Trumka dies unexpectedly at 72

Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka, who led the largest federation of unions in the country for over a decade, has died at 72.

The big picture: Trumka began working as a coal miner in 1968 and would go on to dedicate his life to the labor movement, including as president of the 12.5 million-member AFL-CIO beginning in 2009.