After spending much of the year failing to advance additional financial relief to individuals and businesses, the leaders of the U.S. Senate, along with the top party members in the U.S. House of Representatives, announced an agreement on Sunday for a roughly $900 billion COVID-19 assistance measure.
The provisions include slightly augmented unemployment insurance benefits, direct payments of up to $600 to Americans, and $82 billion to K-12 schools, colleges, and universities, among other features.
Here is what Colorado’s political leaders are saying:
"Colorado’s hardworking people and small businesses need relief and we are glad Congress is finally considering at least some help. Additional federal direct cash payments of $600 per person and extended unemployment benefits for over 16,000 Coloradans impacted by this pandemic are a welcomed resource. Ultimately, this package is an important down payment from the federal government for what is needed to help get the nation successfully through the health crisis from the deadly virus and the global recession.” —Gov. Jared Polis
"Although it does not go as far as I would have liked, it will help create a bridge for our frontline health care workers, small businesses, and the unemployed until more Americans can access the vaccine. It should not have taken Washington this long to reach this agreement, and we should pass it without further delay. At the same time, we should come back in the new year prepared to work immediately on additional relief." —U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet
"While this bill will provide critical short-term relief for millions of families, it doesn’t do nearly enough to give people the support they really need to weather this crisis. This deal will:
-Increase unemployment benefits
-Extend the current ban of evictions and foreclosures
-Provide most Americans with another round of direct stimulus payments
But it’s unconscionable that this wasn’t done months ago." —U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette
"I’ve said this since the beginning: we need targeted aid for small businesses and those who are unemployed right now. This botched, multi-billion dollar deal is not what Americans deserve. We will be paying for this for decades to come." —U.S. Rep. Ken Buck, who is also the chair of the Colorado Republican Party
“The slow pace that this has moved is exactly what Coloradans hate about partisan politicians in Washington...Differences should have been set aside months ago, to help keep small businesses open, keep them employed and keep food on the table.” —Incoming House Speaker Alec Garnett, D-Denver, to The New York Times