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Rep. Neal discusses future of stimulus bill negotiations

October 7, 2020
In The News

SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- There's been a back-and-forth on the next round of stimulus checks for the American people coming from the White House.

Negotiations hit a stand still Tuesday on the economic relief bill and then, late last night, the president said he is once again willing to go to the negotiating table.

It's been six months since a stimulus bill was signed into law, designed to help Americans financially struggling in the coronavirus pandemic.

Statistics show unemployment in Massachusetts has gone down from 16 percent to around 11 percent, but nowhere close to the pre-pandemic numbers of 2.8 percent.

With bills still piling up, Congressman Richard Neal said the need to pass another round of economic relief is necessary.

“The need for an infusion of cash into our economic system....it’s critical,” Neal explained.

The Democratic-controlled House has already passed the HEROES Act twice, with a revised version passing earlier this month.

It still contains individual stimulus checks, but Neal told Western Mass News the other benefits have some compromises

“In an effort to secure support from administration, rather than a year, we would shorten the duration to the end of January and we would cut back on the number of dollars involved almost by $1 trillion,” Neal explained.

However, whether or not President Trump will agree to it has been up in the air.

“Everybody acknowledges the nature of the problem. Time to get onto the solution,” Neal added.

Neal believes some of the confusion comes from the president’s tweets. On Tuesday, the president said he was pulling the plug on negotiations on stimulus money until after the election.

President Trump then appeared to reverse course shortly after, saying that the House and Senate should approve airline payroll support and money for the paycheck protection program

“I think the chaotic nature of the president’s tweets are ill-considered,” Neal noted.

When it comes to the next step of the process for Americans, Neal said some sort of deal needs to be reached by the winter, regardless of the election.

“You need some reassurance at this time, given the fact that there’s a resurgence of the COVID virus and an understanding that people will need to be able to make rent payments, property owners need to make mortgage payments…Getting out front of this as we get to the winter months is essential,” Neal said.