TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – Lawmakers said they’re trying to keep the country moving during the coronavirus pandemic. On Wednesday night, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed a new two trillion-dollar stimulus bill.
Kansas Senator Jerry Moran said the plan is wide-ranging, but overall it will help Kansans weather the storm.
“There are things in this bill that I would never have thought I might vote for,” Moran said. “But in these circumstances which I think are so different, and people are harmed through no fault of their own, this was ‘I’m going to vote for things that I don’t quite like in hopes of getting something that’s a package that I do like,’ and that’s what happened.”
The bill would send more than $100 billion to hospitals and to buy medical supplies. It ensures at least $1.25 billion to every state to fight coronavirus.
“We will never have things back to normal, never have a good economy until we get the healthcare issues taken care of,” Moran said. “This bill addresses both.”
The bill also includes a $1,200 check for every adult making under $75,000 a year.
It increases what a person can collect on unemployment insurance by an additional $600.
Moran said the bill also provides loans to companies so they can keep their workers employed during the crisis, and if they do, the loans don’t would be forgiven.
“There’s been criticism of this bill for taking care of big corporations. I’m not looking at trying to take care of a corporation, or even a business, I’m trying to take care of the people that work for that corporation or business,” Moran said.
“The more businesses, whatever size they are, that we can keep at work, that means Kansans and Americans have an opportunity to have a job,” he said.
Moran said he believes the work has just begun and that more action may be necessary depending on how the outbreak progresses. He said medical experts must be the ones that determine how long precautions that many people are experiencing should last.
“I don’t think the decision about when people can go back to work, or when you can get closer than six feet to somebody, or we can return to the days of having a handshake, that can’t be decided by politics. It has to be decided by medicine, and science, so we’ll be looking to the experts to decide when it is safe,” Moran said.
The House is expected to vote on the bill Friday, and if passes, it will head to President Trump’s desk.