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Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

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Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

President Biden has officially signed the $1.9 trillion COVID relief package passed by Congress, clearing the way for stimulus checks to go out as soon as this weekend.

Why it matters: While Democrats were unable to include some progressive priorities in the bill, like an increase in the minimum wage, the final product is being touted as one of the most consequential anti-poverty bills of the modern era.

The bill includes:

  • $1,400 stimulus checks for Americans making less than $75,000 annually and married couples making less than $150,000. Check sizes phase down from there, with a cap of $80,000 for individuals and $160,000 for couples.
  • A continuation of the federal $300-per-week supplemental unemployment benefit. Federal income taxes will also be waived on the first $10,200 of 2020 unemployment benefits for households earning less than $150,000.
  • 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.
  • $350 billion in state and local aid and $128.6 billion to help K-12 schools reopen.
  • $25 billion in aid to restaurants and other food and drinking establishments.
  • $19 billion in emergency rental assistance, $100 million to housing counseling programs and $5 billion to help combat homelessness.
  • $7.25 billion in funds for Paycheck Protection Program loans for small businesses.
  • $7.5 billion in Centers for Disease Control and Prevention funding for vaccine distribution.
  • Increased subsidies for Americans buying health care through the Affordable Care Act.
  • An extension of 15% increased federal SNAP benefits through September.
  • About $7.2 billion for the Federal Communications Commission to ensure that all students have internet access during remote learning.

Go deeper: America's pandemic relief spending will forever reshape how Washington responds to crises

Go deeper

In photos: Long lines and fuel shortages amid Colonial Pipeline shutdown

A sign warns consumers on the avaliability of gasoline at a RaceTrac gas station in Smyrna, Georgia, on May 11. The average national price of gasoline has risen to $2.985 a gallon, Bloomberg notes. Photo: Elijah Nouvelage/AFP via Getty Images

Reports of fuel shortages across the U.S. emerged on Tuesday as the national average for gasoline prices soared to its highest level since 2014 amid a key fuel pipeline shut down, per Bloomberg.

What's happening: Operator Colonial Pipeline aims to have service restored by the week's end following last Friday's ransomware attack that shut down some 5,500 miles of pipeline from Texas to New Jersey. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) declared a state of emergency after panic-buying created a fuel shortage.

Reports: More than 100 Republicans threaten to form 3rd party over Trump

Former President Trump addressing the Conservative Political Action Conference in Orlando, Florida, in February. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

More than 100 Republicans will sign a letter Thursday threatening to create a third party if the GOP doesn't "break" with former President Trump, Reuters first reported.

Why it matters: Per Axios' Mike Allen and Jim VandeHei, Trump's grip on the GOP has gotten stronger since the Jan. 6 Capitol riot. The Republican Party's "allegiance to Trump" as he continues to make false claims about his 2020 election loss has "dismayed" the group, according to Reuters.

Updated 2 hours ago - World

In photos: Dozens dead as Israel and Hamas intensify aerial bombardments

People gather at the site of a collapsed building in the aftermath of Israeli air strikes on Gaza City on May 11. Photo: Mahmud Hams / AFP) (Photo by MAHMUD HAMS/AFP via Getty Images

At least 35 Palestinians and five Israelis have been killed as fighting between Israel's military and Hamas entered a third day, per Reuters.

The big picture: The worst aerial exchanges of fire between Israel and Hamas since 2014 come after escalating violence in Jerusalem that injured hundreds of Palestinians and several Israeli police officers during protests over the planned evictions of Palestinian families from their homes.

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