(The story has been updated to include the vote count … Brian)
In a historic vote, the U.S. Senate voted unanimously late Wednesday night to approve the largest emergency relief bill in American history, a $2 trillion economic stimulus package. It’s in response to the coronavirus crisis.
Missouri’s senior senator had predicted a “big, bipartisan vote” in his chamber. The vote was 96-0, and a House vote is expected on Friday.
U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, who chairs the Senate Appropriations health subcommittee, says the bill is crucial for hospitals.
“I think we’ve got a good package that will help hospitals, will help local health departments, will help others who are trying to address this need,” Blunt says.
The “Washington Post” reports the bill would provide $130 billion to hospitals.
Blunt, who serves on the Senate Appropriations Committee, says the $2 trillion economic stimulus package will provide individuals and families with immediate relief. Blunt tells Missourinet that the bill would provide $1,200 in direct assistance to most adults and $500 to children.
“And that means most Missourians would get a check, most Missourians that file a tax return would get a check, others may have other ways to get that check,” says Blunt.
The payments are phased out for those with higher incomes, such as individuals who earn $75,000 or more.
Blunt also says the package would help Missouri farmers and ranchers, and American agriculture in general. He says the bill increases the Commodity Credit Corporation by $14 billion.
“This is a place where farming families and other farming entities can go and get credit,” Blunt says.
Agriculture remains Missouri’s top industry. Blunt says the bill provides $9.5 billion in emergency aid to agricultural producers who’ve been impacted by COVID-19, including livestock producers who export overseas.
Click here to listen to Brian Hauswirth’s full five-minute interview with U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, which was recorded on March 25, 2020:
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