Stimulus bill will bring billions in funding for MTA, $1,400 checks for taxpayers

President Biden praised Senate democrats Saturday for passing his $1.9 trillion stimulus package. The overnight session was the longest vote in senate history, spanning about 12 hours. Also called the American Rescue Plan. this bill, which has been a major white house priority, was passed down party lines.

"I say to beleaguered New Yorkers, help is on the way," Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said, detailing aid that he said would be headed to schools, small businesses, museums, restaurants, theaters and local governments plus the $1,400 in direct aid that most New Yorkers are slated to receive as part of the relief package.

"As majority leader I did all I could to make sure that New York was helped in every different aspect," Schumer said at a news conference in the lobby of the Manhattan building where his office is located.

The legislation means millions of Americans should start to get $1,400 stimulus checks later this month and enhanced unemployment benefits at $300 per week will be extended through early September. The legislation would also expand the child tax credit and put billions of dollars into state budgets, schools and vaccine distribution plans. 

So what does this mean for New Yorkers? Mayor Bill de Blasio released a statement that reads in part:

"…with robust local aid, we will have the necessary investments to push forward with our testing and vaccination efforts, further help small businesses, fully reopen schools in the fall and more."

MTA Chairman Pat Foye said the plan "includes more than $6 billion in federal funding for the MTA...  it will also further offset COVID’s impact and help protect against devastating service cuts and layoffs."

"There cannot be a national recovery if the states and local governments do not get relief - it is simple as that," Governor Andrew Cuomo said.

Republicans, however, stood firmly against the plan, claiming it’s packed with wasteful spending and ignores recent indications that the pandemic and economy are turning the corner.

"The Senate has never spent $2 trillion in a more haphazard or less rigorous process," said Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell.

Even though the bill passed the House first, the Senate made some changes, so the bill will now have to go back to over to the House before it reaches the president’s desk. That next debate in the House is expected to start on Tuesday.

With the Associated Press.