Obama congratulates Biden on Senate passage of his Covid relief bill

Former President Barack Obama, seen here in 2020, congratulated President Joe Biden on the successful passage of the Covid-19 relief bill through the Senate, the administration's top legislative priority as millions of Americans continue to struggle financially amid the coronavirus pandemic.

By Veronica Stracqualursi and Allie Malloy, CNN

(CNN) -- Former President Barack Obama on Saturday congratulated President Joe Biden on the successful passage of the COVID-19 relief bill through the Senate, the administration's top legislative priority as millions of Americans continue to struggle financially amid the coronavirus pandemic.

In series of tweets following the Senate's approval of the bill, Obama said that Biden's $1.9 trillion relief package will "improve the lives of families across the country."

"This landmark legislation will help families pay rent and put food on the table, lift millions of children out of poverty, make health care more affordable, aid small businesses, fund broad-based vaccination efforts, and make it easier for states to reopen schools," the former Democratic President wrote.

Obama called it "a reminder of why it's so important to vote" and how "elections matter."

"This is the kind of progress that's possible when we elect leaders across government who are devoted to making people's lives better," he said.

The Senate on Saturday passed Biden's Covid relief plan on a party-line vote following an all-night "vote-a-rama" and a 12-hour struggle to convince one Democratic senator, Joe Manchin, to support his party's deal boosting unemployment benefits.

The House will vote Tuesday on the legislation to approve changes made by the Senate, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer announced, and then it will go to Biden to be signed into law.

Biden on Saturday called the Senate's passage "one more giant step forward" in delivering on his promise to provide relief to Americans.

During his remarks at the White House, Biden thanked Vice President Kamala Harris and the Democratic senators who voted to pass the plan.

"It obviously wasn't easy. It wasn't always pretty. But it was so desperately needed, urgently needed," he added.

The-CNN-Wire™ & © 2018 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

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