WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — Congress appears to be closer to bringing a COVID-19 relief bill to a vote in the House and Senate, but direct stimulus checks are, so far, absent from the compromise plan.
“There’s continued conversation around direct stimulus checks, which I think is important,” Virginia Democratic Congresswoman Abigail Spanberger said.
Spanberger fears including direct payments in the bill could prevent the plan from crossing the finish line.
“Finish line means a bill passed through the House and the Senate and signed on the president’s desk so that we can ensure that extended unemployment, rent support, and food assistance among other things are delivered to the American people,” Spanberger said.
Pennsylvania Republican Congressman Fred Keller says another round of $1,000 checks is not the answer.
“This stimulus payment will run out. Once that’s gone, what are they going to do next?” Keller said.
Keller says instead, Congress needs to focus on jobs.
“The best stimulus is a job. And what we need to do going forward is support our small businesses and our working families,” Keller said.
Many Republican lawmakers say the us can’t afford another round of direct payments.
“For every penny that we spend is borrowed,” Kentucky Republican Congressman Brett Guthrie said. “That’s hundreds of billions of dollars borrowed from our children and grandchildren.”
If stimulus checks are not included in the compromise, some lawmakers say they will work on a standalone bill, although that would be unlikely to pass until after the first of the year.