Senator Bill Cassidy explains the Coronavirus Relief Bill

Updated: Dec. 13, 2020 at 9:32 PM CST
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WASHINGTON, D.C., La. (KPLC) - In Washington, D.C., lawmakers are still trying to come to an agreement on a coronavirus relief package.

United States Senator Bill Cassidy spoke about those negotiations, today.

“People have asked why stimulus checks are not in our bill. We’re not a stimulus bill we’re a COVID relief bill,” explained Cassidy.

While there might be a need for another stimulus bill in the future, Senator Bill Cassidy says the priority of the $908 billion relief proposal is to help those who are in the greatest need.

“Louisiana unemployment rate has been higher than the nation, I think in part because we’re so tourism oriented and tourism is clearly in the tank.”

The Coronavirus Relief Bill would provide an additional $300 per week in unemployment benefits for three months and $300 billion would go towards the Paycheck Protection Program for businesses to keep workers on the job.

“You couldn’t help but notice though the American people are struggling. I had a small business owner saying ‘listen, I have four employees. I’m not sure I can hang on for the next three months. I need help and I’m going to have to lay-off my four employees.’”

“So we tried to support those who are still in business so that they can keep people employed and trying to support those folks who are unemployed, through no fault of their own, and then also trying to support schools.”

Senator Cassidy says the aid package appears to be gaining support on Capitol Hill, but there is one thing that continues to keep the bill from moving forward.

“One of the big things that is still holding things up is liability. Republicans want protection for schools and for businesses and Democrats want to ensure that if somebody has a claim, they get a right to sue. I’m hoping that there’s a middle ground there. We certainly don’t want people going bankrupt from lawsuits after we spent so much money and so much effort keeping them going during the pandemic.”

The White House also proposed its own deal that would include a scaled down stimulus check but less unemployment help.

Congress is trying to get a bill passed soon, because aid programs that were approved in March expire before the end of the year.

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