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House approves $1.9T COVID relief bill, Biden set to sign Friday

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The House of Representatives on Wednesday approved President Joe Biden‘s massive $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package, sending it to his desk to be signed, marking Democrats’ first major legislative win under Biden.

The stimulus package passed without Republican support in a 220-211 party-line vote. Only one Democrat, Rep. Jared Golden (Maine), voted against it.

The House’s Wednesday afternoon vote came after the U.S. Senate passed a version of it on Saturday, also along party lines, with the bill having faced a grueling path to passage from Republicans and centrist Democrats in the upper chamber.

RELATED: Sen. Sinema breaks with Democrats on $15 minimum wage

The bill provides new funds for public health measures with another round of economic stimulus, giving a $1,400 check to many American adults and an extension of a $300 weekly jobless-aid supplement. Moreover, it includes a one-year expansion of the child tax credit; and grants money for vaccine distribution efforts, schools, and state and local governments, among other measures.

The president has said he will sign the bill as soon as it lands on his desk, with White House press secretary Jen Psaki saying Wednesday that Biden is expected to sign it on Friday afternoon. She also said that the president will tap an official to oversee the implementation of the legislation.

Thursday evening, the president is scheduled to deliver a primetime address to the nation to commemorate one year since the COVID-19 pandemic shutdowns began in the U.S., in his first major speech since his January 20 inaugural address. Notably, Biden has also not held a formal press briefing yet, though Psaki said Friday that he will hold one before the end of March.

RELATED: Biden to deliver primetime address this week

You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.

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Economy

No help at our border, but Biden announces $5 billion going to bike paths, wider sidewalks

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Screen Shot 2021 04 27 at 3.00.48 PM

In the world of Democrat delusion, they think $5 billion is necessary, at this point in time, to make bike paths and widen side walks. You cannot make this up. They have approved $40 billion in aide to Ukraine in a heartbeat under President Biden, while having rejected former President Trump’s request for a mere $5 billion to secure our border.

The news also comes as fentanyl and the drug overdoses are the number one cause of death in the U.S. There’s also an increase in human smuggling and extortion to pay to cross the border. But no; let’s make some bike paths and widen sidewalks. That is an immediate emergency.

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg announced Monday that money will be used over five years under his department’s new “Safe Streets & Roads for All” program. The $5 billion ini federals funds will be used “to slow down cars chia more speed cameras, carve out bike paths and wider sidewalks and urging commuters to public transit” reports Daily Mail.

“The aim will be to provide a direct infusion of federal cash to communities that pledge to promote safety for the multiple users of a roadway, particularly pedestrians and bicyclists.” The announcement also coincides with the six-month anniversary of President Biden’s infrastructure legislation, and the beginning of the 2022 “infrastructure week.”

The desire to fix roads is a noble one, as “road traffic injuries also are the leading cause of death among young people aged 5-29. Young adults aged 15-4 account for more than half of all road deaths” reports Daily Mail, which adds:

Still, much of the federal roadmap relies on cooperation from cities and states, and it could take months if not years to fully implement with discernible results – too late to soothe 2022 midterm voters unsettled by this and other pandemic-related ills, such as rising crime.

The latest U.S. guidance Monday invites cities and localities to sketch out safety plans in their applications for the federal grants, which are to be awarded late this year.

It cites examples of good projects as those that promise to transform a high-crash roadway, such as by adding rumble strips to slow cars or installing speed cameras, which the department says could provide more equitable enforcement than police traffic stops; flashing beacons for pedestrian crosswalks; new ‘safe routes’ via sidewalks or other protected pathways to school or public transit in underserved communities; and other ‘quick build’ roadway changes designed with community input.

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