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United States Congress debates second COVID relief bill

Published: Oct. 1, 2020 at 9:21 PM CDT
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PIERRE, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - The United States Congress is debating a second COVID relief bill, and a bipartisan group of legislators is looking to make sure one gets through.

Congressman Dusty Johnson (R- South Dakota) is a member of the ‘Problem Solvers Caucus,’ a group of bipartisan legislators intent on getting a COVID relief bill passed.

“I think we have a number of distressed industries that need additional help to get through these next few difficult weeks. I think those kinds of investments, could keep putting million more Americans on welfare, and in the long haul, could save us a lot of money.” Johnson said.

Congressman Johnson said that he would vote in favor of a second round of stimulus checks, something President Donald Trump has expressed his desire to see if another COVID relief bill is passed. South Dakota’s Senators did not express an explicit support for a second round of stimulus checks.

Johnson says he acted after receiving a call from President Trump to try and “clear the log jam” blocking COVID relief.

"So many of these small components that we know need tweaking, like making it easier for small businesses to get forgiveness for PPP dollars, making sure local and state governments have the flexibility they need to use the dollars we’ve already given them to take care of revenue shortfalls, those are the kinds of things if we don’t get a passage passed this week are probably going to go undone, and I think have a negative impact on this economy.” Johnson stated.

Senator John Thune (R-South Dakota) said the following in regards to another COVID relief bill: “At the outset of the pandemic, I supported the bipartisan CARES Act, which included direct economic assistance payments to American taxpayers. Families were hurting, the economy was struggling, and the country faced a great unknown. As the nation continues to recover, we should focus on doing what’s best for South Dakota, which is my top priority in Washington. Any additional steps that Congress takes must be targeted and fiscally responsible, and I will carefully review any future coronavirus relief legislation.”

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