Sen. Mitt Romney has proposed giving every U.S. adult a $1,000 check to help them cover their immediate financial needs and to help stimulate the economy as the country struggles to stop the spread of the coronavirus outbreak.
The Republican from Utah announced the proposal Monday to not only contain the spread of the virus but also to curtail what is quickly becoming an economic crisis.
“Every American adult should immediately receive $1,000 to help ensure families and workers can meet their short-term obligations and increase spending in the economy,” Romney’s office said in a news release.
The senator said that under his proposal, the stimulus checks would be a one-time cash infusion.
“Congress took similar action during the 2001 and 2008 recessions. While expansions of paid leave, unemployment insurance, and SNAP benefits are crucial, the check will help fill the gaps for Americans that may not quickly navigate different government options,” the news release said.
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Romney said his proposal is in addition to measures currently being undertaken by Congress to offer financial relief to workers and businesses affected by the spread of COVID-19.
“The House coronavirus response package contains critical measures to help families in Utah and across the nation in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak, and the Senate should act swiftly on this legislation,” Romney said in a statement.
“We also urgently need to build on this legislation with additional action to help families and small businesses meet their short-term financial obligations, ease the financial burden on students entering the workforce, and protect health workers on the front lines and their patients by improving telehealth services,” he said.
“I will be pushing these measures as Senate discussions continue about an additional relief package,” the senator said.
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Romney’s office said the checks “will help fill the gaps for Americans that may not quickly navigate different government options.”
He also proposed offering grants, not loans, to small businesses being affected by the virus and the rapidly spreading uncertainty that has accompanied it.
Under his proposal, the Small Business Administration would grant funds to qualified small businesses that apply for but do not receive Economic Injury Disaster Loans.
“This program would ensure small businesses can meet short-term obligations, such as payroll and rent, without forcing them into future bankruptcies,” the senator’s news release said.
Romney also proposed easing the financial burden for students by offering student loan deferments for recent college graduates and by increasing Pell Grant amounts to lessen “the burden on some students who had to make unexpected travel, housing, and storage purchases due to the COVID-19 outbreak.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky is among Republicans who are concerned that the current legislative proposals do not do enough to help Americans who are facing extreme financial burdens, and particularly those who might have been or could be laid off from work.
“Senate Republicans feel strongly that this bill must only be the beginning of Congress’s efforts to support our nation’s economy and stand with American families,” McConnell said in a statement, The Hill reported.
McConnell added that discussions are “underway” regarding providing direct economic relief to Americans and to help stimulate the economy.
“The Senate is eager to work with the Administration and the House to deliver the solutions our nation deserves,” he said.
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