Senate candidates weigh in on second coronavirus relief package

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TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNW) – One of the big races in Kansas this election year is the race for the open U.S. Senate seat. To keep voters informed, we have asked Senate candidates Barbara Bollier and Roger Marshall questions on issues important to Kansans.

Washington D.C. lawmakers say a deal must be reached within the next 48 hours if they want a second coronavirus relief package to be passed before Election Day.

The CARES Act was passed by Congress and signed by the President on March 27, 2020. It provided states millions of dollars for coronavirus expenses, funded additional unemployment benefits, sent stimulus checks to all Americans and gave much needed personal protective equipment (PPE) to states. Since March, Congress has not been able to find common ground on a second relief package.

Earlier this month, President Trump said he would not support talks for a second relief package until after the election, but many lawmakers want to get something out as soon as possible. Republican Senate candidate Roger Marshall, who currently serves in the U.S. House of Representatives said the President is merely negotiating and that the democrats led by Nancy Pelosi are the cause of a second relief package not being passed.

Democratic Senate candidate Barbara Bollier said the fighting between parties is the cause for a package not passing through Congress. She said the partisan fighting is not helping Americans.

Read the candidates’ full answers on a second coronavirus relief package below.

Roger Marshall:

“The President is negotiating, Nancy Pelosi is the one holding the American people hostage. She and her radicals ideas that they have never negotiated in good faith. We’ve set forth a policy and legislation that we think would be very helpful to Americans and to Kansans. Legislation that would provide liability protection, approve more loans for the small businesses, more funding to help kids get back in school and stay back in school, more funding for vaccines as well, more funding for unemployment insurance as well and even $10 billion for the post office. But Nancy Pelosi walked away from all of that. So, we tried very hard and I still think we’re not through yet.”

Barbara Bollier:

“It is beyond disappointing that our Washington, our Federal Government, our President, are standing in the way of working together to get help to the people. I find it unconscionable and my opponent, he didn’t even vote to get aid to people with the last bill. We know we need PPP (Paycheck Protection Program) and loans for people, we need them to have access to PPE, we know we need money getting in to our local governments so we can fund our police and we need money getting to our schools so that we can expand broadband, if needed, and make sure our teachers have the equipment they need not only to teach but to be safe. This hyper-partisanship is what is breaking Washington. My opponent does nothing to work together and that’s what I’ll bring to the Senate and that’s exactly what I’ll be doing when I get there. Let’s get together, work together red and blue and get help to the people who need it.”

Kansas received more than $1 billion in CARES Act funding. That money has been distributed by the Governor’s SPARK Task Force. All federal coronavirus money must be spent by the end of the year.

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