"This historic legislation is about rebuilding the backbone of this country and giving people in this nation, working people, middle-class folks, people who built the country, a fighting chance," Biden said while signing the bill.
According to CBS News polls, the bill is wildly popular with the public, even among Republican voters, with three out of four Americans expressing support for its passage. It will send billions to states for COVID-19 vaccine distribution and safe school reopening while also providing relief to struggling small businesses and tax credits for families.
In addition to sending $1,400 to every American less than $75,000 annually, the bill also includes $300 billion in weekly jobless benefits through September.
While people on both sides of the political aisle have expressed frustration about what wasn't in the bill, most notably provisions to raise the federal minimum wage to $15, the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan has been lauded by experts as vital to getting the country back on its feet following the economic devastation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Vox called the bill "the most far-reaching anti-poverty legislation in more than 50 years," and The New York Times editorial board said it "has the potential to cut poverty by a third and reduce child poverty by more than half, according to an analysis by Columbia University’s Center on Poverty and Social Policy. Black and Hispanic Americans are expected to see the largest benefit."
In a joint statement, even progressive groups Battle Born Collective, Justice Democrats, Sunrise Movement, United We Dream and New Deal Strategies said the bill will "bring badly needed relief to millions of working families and begin the long road of recovery from the pandemic."
“As the pandemic has revealed and exacerbated the gaping holes in our social safety net, we hope that temporary programs that will dramatically lower poverty over the next two years, such as the child tax credit, are made permanent," the groups said in a statement to Blavity.
New analysis of Biden stimulus impact out today –>
— Poverty falls by 42% for black people
— By 39% for Hispanic people
— By 34% for white people
Overall, bill lowers poverty rate from 13.7 percent to 8.7 percent – similar to Columbia analysishttps://t.co/8LVhO7vpFB
— Jeff Stein (@JStein_WaPo) March 10, 2021
“The American Rescue Plan is the bold and historic action we need to combat this virus. With measures including direct payments of $1,400 per person and resources to help manufacture and distribute vaccines, it will provide the relief working families need and overwhelmingly want while showing that the government is again working for the people,” DNC Chair Jaime Harrison said in a statement.
But while the bill includes hundreds of different provisions to the public, most have been focused on the $1,400 stimulus checks millions of Americans will receive.
As one would expect, the jokes about the signing of the bill were endless, and "#Moneybagg Joe" began trending on Twitter afterward.