Local officials weigh in on $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief legislation

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Some local representatives say if the $1.9 trillion COVID relief legislation becomes law, it would have an impact on people across the commonwealth.

There are some differing opinions to this bill, which would include $1,400 stimulus checks if the house approves it on Tuesday.

The Senate passed President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill on Saturday.

Representative Ryan Bizzarro is calling the bill a good package for the American people.

“$350 billion of that is coming back to state and local governments, so that’s a significant portion for Pennsylvania. We also know that we are extending unemployment benefits to individuals.” Bizzarro said.

The Senate bill would continue the existing $300 weekly federal boost and pandemic unemployment programs through September 6th. Rep. Bizzarro says unemployment has been an issue for constituents throughout the pandemic.

“It’s been an issue for almost a year now. We recognize that there is an issue here in Pennsylvania and we understand that people still need to get their payments.” Bizzarro said.

However, not everyone agrees with the bill. Jezree Friend with the Manufacturer and Business Administration says some members say more government involvement may not be the answer.

“They’re being sold a bill of goods that the government is going to solve our problems when, really, they just want to get back to work.” Friend said.

Some republicans criticizing the bill, including Repulican Senator Pat Toomey, who said in a statement:

“Let’s be honest. This bill has nothing to do with COVID, nothing to do with the economy. It has everything to do with Rahm Emanuel’s edict of never let a good crisis go to waste.”

Senator Pat Toomey

Now, this bill does include $20 billion to increase vaccine distribution, and $50 billion to COVID testing if approved by the House on Tuesday.

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