Bipartisan COVID-19 relief plan calls for stimulus checks, continued unemployment benefits

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Representative Dusty Johnson speaking Wednesday after he, along with 49 other bipartisan congressmen and women, unveil a COVID-19 relief plan aimed at breaking the months-long gridlock on capitol hill.

After weeks of research, the 25 republics and 25 democrats known as the Problem Solver’s Caucus drafted the package to spark new debate after multiple failed attempts at legislation over the last four months.

The package looks for over $1 trillion for COVID-19 testing, unemployment insurance, and stimulus checks similar to those seen earlier this year. This includes a one-time $1,200 stimulus check for adults and $500 per child. For unemployment benefits, $450 a week would be provided for eight weeks before bumping up to $600 unless your previous wage was less than that amount.

Rep. Johnson says with a bill this size, money must be spent carefully.

When you force spending spend money quickly, you get a lot more waste,” said Rep. Johnson. “The reality is we don’t want to send the message that we need to spend, spend, spend. We want to send a message that we want you to respond in a responsible and proactive way to this pandemic and were going to give you the additional flexibility that you can get that done.”

He adds that the caucus has been in close contact with the White House and already has the branch’s support for passage.

Senator John Thune taking to the Senate Floor as well to emphasize the effect of spending on the nation’s debt. He says borrowing money is absolutely necessary during a pandemic but there’s a catch.

But we need to be very aware of the fact that we’ve driven up our deficit by $3.3 trillion just this fiscal year — further increasing our nation’s debt,” said Sen. Thune. “And we need to be very careful about any additional borrowing and ensure that we’re only borrowing what’s absolutely necessary.”

Also included in the proposed legislation is support for small businesses and non-profits, schools, childcare, housing, elections, and local government. Visit here for the full proposal.

Categories: Coronavirus, Local News, South Dakota News