Record-Breaking $1.9T Relief Bill Passes US House, Heads to Biden’s Desk

The measure may contribute to temporary inflation during the summer, economists say.

Mar 10, 2021 at 7:33 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 12:24 p.m. UTC

The U.S. House of Representatives passed a $1.9 trillion relief bill on Wednesday, sending the bill to President Joe Biden’s desk for his signature. 

The bill, already passed by the Senate, has been the subject of heated debate among policymakers and economists who are concerned about inflation when the coronavirus pandemic-wrecked economy recovers. 

The financial relief is expected to contribute to temporarily high inflation that may occur when most Americans are vaccinated and able to begin traveling and spending the way they did prior to when COVID-19 restrictions were put in place. 

Bitcoiners have touted the stimulus as an opportunity for the limited-supply digital asset to shine as a hedge against inflation. The Federal Reserve has said it doesn’t expect the economy to reach the central bank's target of 2% inflation, on average, until at least 2023. 

The bill is unlikely to affect the price of bitcoin, said Steven Kelly, a research associate at the Yale Program on Financial Stability.

“Given markets have known the payments were going to be hitting folks’ accounts soon, I don’t know that’ll we see some unexpected jump in bitcoin or other risk assets,” Kelly said. “Not least because there is still a lot of economic pain out there. These checks will go toward filling that gap first and foremost. I don’t expect this to be a government funding of the retail investor army by any means, though I’m sure some anecdotes will come out to that effect.”

Also today, according to a report in the Washington Post, Democrats in Congress are considering a bill that would counter China’s economic influence by increasing U.S. production of semiconductors.

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