Utah Rep. Ben McAdams, D-Utah, right, and his wife Julie McAdams leave Murray City Hall in December. The congressman, who has COVID-19 and is being treated in Utah, says the coronavirus relief package now awaiting a vote in the House isn’t perfect, but is urgently needed. | Colter Peterson, Deseret News
SALT LAKE CITY — Many members of Congress say the coronavirus relief package now awaiting a vote in the House isn’t perfect, including Utah Rep. Ben McAdams.
But the only Democrat in the state’s congressional delegation said it’s the bipartisan compromise on the table, and working families and those fighting on the front lines urgently need help.
“What’s important now is that resources are headed to Utah families, small businesses and employees, hospitals and health care workers, and state and local governments. I remain focused on working with Utahns to counter the effects of this virus outbreak as it continues to hammer our communities,” McAdams said in a statement Thursday.
McAdams is among the hundreds of Utahns and thousands across the country who know firsthand the effects of COVID-19. He has been in the hospital since last Friday to receive treatment for breathing problems after contracting the virus.
“I learned this virus can suddenly turn your life from active and normal to struggling to breathe, he said in a tweet.
McAdams is communicating with his staff and other members of Congress on details of the Senate bill from his hospital room.
The Senate passed the $2.2 trillion economic package 96-0 late Wednesday, though Utah’s two Republican senators were not there to vote. Both Sen. Mitt Romney and Sen. Mike Lee are self-isolating at home in Utah after being exposed to a senator with COVID-19.
“While I wish I were there tonight to cast my vote for this critically needed legislation, I’m pleased my colleagues got this relief package across the finish line,” Romney said on social media late Wednesday. “I implore the House to pass this bill and get it to the president’s desk without delay.”
The House is expected to vote on the bill Friday. President Donald Trump said he will sign the measure after it passes.
”96-0 in the United States Senate. Congratulations AMERICA!” the president tweeted early Thursday morning.
The bill would provide one-time direct payments of $1,200 to adults making up to $75,000 a years and $2,400 to married couples earning up to $150,000, with $500 payments for each child. Payments are based on individuals’ or couples’ 2018 or 2019 tax filings. The Treasury Department will either use direct deposit or send a check in the mail.
The package would expand unemployment insurance and provide a $367 billion program for small businesses to obtain forgivable loans and emergency grants to make payroll while workers are forced to stay home.
It also creates a Treasury Department “special inspector general for pandemic recovery” to provide oversight of loans and a Pandemic Response Accountability Committee to protect taxpayer dollars, items McAdams pushed as co-chairman of the Blue Dog Task Force on Fiscal Responsibility.
Source:: Deseret News – Utah News