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Biden Signature Gets Ball Rolling on Relief Checks

President signs COVID stimulus package into law
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 11, 2021 12:25 PM CST

(Newser) – It's law. President Biden on Thursday put his signature on a $1.9 trillion COVID stimulus package that includes $1,400 checks for most Americans. Biden initially planned to conduct the signing on Friday, but the White House received the legislation earlier than expected, reports the Washington Post. So when will people get their checks? CBS News estimates one to two weeks, though CNBC reports that the first Americans could receive them in a matter of days. Backing up the latter guess is MarketWatch, which notes that IRS chief Charles Rittig reminded a House panel last month that the agency began sending out checks only two days after then-President Trump signed the last stimulus measure into law. Those with direct deposit already set up with the IRS will be the first to get the money.

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“This historic legislation is about rebuilding the backbone of this country," Biden said as he signed the bill, per the AP. The signing comes just hours before Biden gives his first prime-time address—it's scheduled to air at 8pm Eastern, notes CNN. “This is a chance for him to really beam into everybody’s living rooms and to be both the mourner in chief and to explain how he’s leading the country out of this,” says presidential historian Douglas Brinkley of Rice University. The relief measure, called the American Rescue Package, also extends unemployment benefits and provides additional money for families with children. (More details on what else it contains is here.)

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