US House Democrats advance $1.9 trillion COVID-19 aid bill

President Joe Biden's push for a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill took a step forward on Friday as a US House of Representatives committee unveiled the legislation Democrats hope to pass by late next week.
The 591-page bill, stitched together by the House Budget Committee, would carry out Biden's proposals to provide additional money for COVID-19 vaccines and other medical equipment.
Biden was set on Friday to tour a Pfizer vaccine manufacturing plant in Michigan amid efforts to ramp up production, with only about 15% of the US population vaccinated against the coronavirus so far.
But the main components of the massive aid plan focus on stimulating the country's economy, which has struggled over the past year under job layoffs and shuttered businesses resulting from a pandemic that has killed nearly 500,000 Americans. The plan would offer direct payments to households, extended federal unemployment benefits, aid to state and local governments, and other steps.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has said she was aiming for a vote in the Democratic-controller chamber on passing the bill -- a top priority of the new Democratic Biden administration -- by the end of next week.
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