COVID-19 relief bill would help families, boost economy

A bipartisan coalition of U.S. senators and representatives is pushing for enactment of a new COVID-19 relief bill, priced at about $900 billion. Both Democrats and Republicans involved in the effort say that in the spirit of compromise, some provisions they wanted were left out of the measure.

One needs to be inserted, as two members of the House of Representatives — one Democrat and one Republican — recognize. It is another round of direct cash help to American families.

U.S. Reps. David McKinley, R-W.Va., and Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester, D-Del., have introduced legislation to make direct $1,000 payments to every American with a Social Security number — and that includes just about everyone.

“American families are struggling and need immediate relief,” noted McKinley. “As Congress continues to negotiate the next COVID relief package, it is critical that we have a direct focus on American families and their needs. The primary need, at the moment, is income,” Blunt Rochester added. They are both correct.

Approval of the payments would have a beneficial dual effect. It would give families the help some need desperately. It also would give a boost to the U.S. economy, which continues to struggle.

Including the $1,000 payments would add about $320 billion to the cost of the new COVID-19 relief bill — but for a purpose at least as worthwhile as other provisions in the measure. Both Democrats and Republicans in Congress should agree to the direct payments.


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