WASHINGTON, D.C. – Both of Pennsylvania’s U.S. Senators say they are happy to see the passage of a $2 trillion deal to help the nation cope with COVID-19, but they say there were some compromises. Beneficiaries of the bill are all US taxpayers, people who are unemployed, hospitals, healthcare providers and businesses. Democratic U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) says $150 billion heading to states to directly spend on COVID-19 is a nice start, but:
“We can’t even begin to say we are on the right track, until the pandemic itself, is in a place where it is under control or where we can at least push it back. Amd you can’t do that with out a substantial investment in health care. If the Replublican Bill would of went forward that number would have been a lot smaller.”
The bill also includes $100 billion to hospitals and healthcare providers to fight the virus. Another part of the bill increases unemployed health insurance significantly. Direct checks will also be sent to people, about $1,200 per person or $2,400 per couple and $500 per dependent child.
The last part includes a small business loan program, consisting of $300 billion, and companies with up to 500 employees are eligible. There is also broad-based access to credit for bigger businesses. Republican U.S. Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA) says Democrats were hypocritical in wanting to give money away to airlines:
“While our Democratic colleagues were going down to the floor and critcizing our bill to be a big slush fund, a big giveaway to corporations despite the fact that these are loans. Behind closed doors they were insisting actually to give away money to the airlines.”
Toomey also says bus companies were not singled out, claiming all transportation companies will have equal broad-based access to credit, like most big companies will be able to do.