Residents react to COVID relief package, Rep. Rouzer breaks it down

BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — President Donald Trump signed a second COVID-19 relief package on Sunday.

Congressman David Rouzer praises the COVID-19 relief package, especially for small businesses.

“It’s particularly good if you’re a restaurant or a bar or you’re in the hospitality business,” he said.

Rouzer says the Paycheck Protection Program money is being replenished by $280 billion. If approved for the PPP loans, businesses will receive three and a half times the monthly payroll and the funds are no longer taxable.

“We also ensure that anybody who had a loan of 150-thousand or less, retroactively that money is automatically forgiven so basically it’s a grant,” Rouzer said.

While some parts of the package may be good, not everyone is happy.

“I think it was obviously overdue,” Bruce Hutchison said.

“You know there are so many people hurting. They’ve been hurting for months now and I feel like the $600…I mean really? Are people serious here?” Linda Gallo said.

Though most agree that a stimulus package was needed.

“I think we need a stimulus package,” Gallo said. “I think the politicking around this stimulus package has been very unfortunate.”

“I think it should be more targeted to people who really need it,” Ray Murphy said.

“I really should have been done already,” Hutchison said. “There are already people that are losing their unemployment benefits and other things tied to that.”

Trump’s delay in signing the package resulted in millions of people losing their unemployment benefits on Saturday. The reason for the delay, the president was advocating for $2,000 stimulus checks rather than $600.

“$600 is good for right now, but people are desperate and they’re in dire straits,” Fred Allen said. “I think that our government should be more compassionate to the people that are hurting.”

“I think it would have been nice if it would have been a larger package for people that need the money,” Hutchison said. “The $600 is nice but it’s probably not enough for a lot of the folks that need it.”

For the stimulus checks, Rouzer explains the $600 is a compromise.

“The main issue with the stimulus checks is their broad-based. They’re not targeted to those that really, really need it,” Rouzer said. “There’s a lot of people getting a lot of money that quite frankly don’t need it. So the compromise in this package was $600 and keep in mind for a family of four that’s $2,400.”

There’s confusion and frustration over foreign aid that many thought was a part of the stimulus package.

“I think there’s too much pork in it,” Susie Fishel said. “I think other countries do not deserve our money when our country is struggling.”

“You know there was some foreign aid in there that was corroded out as if it was part of the stimulus package and that was not part of the stimulus package, that was part of the funding bill that was going to go through,” Hutchison said.

The $1.4 trillion government spending bill that provides aid to foreign countries, funds the military, veterans services and more is a separate package that falls under the year-end funding package for the fiscal year 2021.

“The 900 billion for COVID relief has nothing to do with the 1.4 trillion, which is the 12 annual appropriations bills combined together,” Rouzer said. “Of that 1.4 trillion, roughly, 55 billion of that is for foreign aid.”

Each year congress votes on these appropriations bills. Rouzer explains how some have confused the government funding bill with the COVID relief.

“Speaker Pelosi can attach any two bills together that she wants and the rest of us have to decide yes or no.”

According to Rouzer, the house was faced with the decision to vote yes or no on the stimulus and the appropriations bill at the same time. They were not able to vote for one separately.

Rouzer believes we may begin to get back to normal around Fall 2021, anticipating another stimulus package likely in the spring.

 

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