WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) ─ Lawmakers say the Senate will not leave the capitol until they’ve put together the next federal aid package to nurse the American economy through the coronavirus crisis.
Sen. Chris Van Hollen, D-Maryland, said the next federal aid package must be targeted and deployed right away.
“We need to go big to win the war against this virus,” he said. “A trillion dollars at least, it may need to be more than that.”
Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Connecticut, says whatever the amount is, it must support the backbone of the nation.
“We are in an unprecedented crisis – it will take a historic commitment in the trillions of dollars,” Blumenthal said. “It has to put cash in the pockets of small businesses, and individuals, families, and workers.”
The Trump administration is proposing a trillion-dollar economic relief package to provide payouts to individual Americans, protect the airline industry and support for small businesses.
Sen. Patrick Toomey, R-Pennsylvania, said the legislation needs to help prevent unemployment.
“We’ve got to make sure that there are jobs to go back to,” Toomey said.
But Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Connecticut, cautioned the administration must focus more attention on the health crisis.
“No matter how big a stimulus check you get to people if you don’t get serious about the healthcare crisis, which this administration still isn’t serious about then you are not going to address the root problem,” Murphy said.
Murphy said the country needs more tests and support for hospitals.
“Right now no economic help will work if we don’t stop the virus,” Murphy said.
Senate leaders say this latest relief package won’t be the last coronavirus legislation they will pursue.