NewsNational Politics


Tester, Daines react to passage of COVID-19 relief bill

Posted at 10:30 AM, Dec 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-22 13:08:00-05

Congress passed the $900 billion COVID-19 relief bill that will send billions of dollars to American households and businesses grappling with the economic and health toll of the pandemic on Monday night.

The measure now goes to the White House for President Trump's signature.

Under the legislation, $600 stimulus checks will be sent to people who make less than $75,000 a year. They will also get $600 for each of their dependents. It also includes a $300 a week in federal unemployment benefits for the next 10 weeks as well as $294 billion to support businesses with Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans.

Treasury Secretary Stephen Mnuchin says the checks could start going out next week. Montana US senators -- Republican Steve Daines and Democrat Jon Tester -- both voted yes for the bill.

“The targeted COVID relief package for Montana’s small businesses, workers, families and our healthcare heroes, as well as our farmers and our ranchers, will soon be on its way to President Trump’s desk,” Sen. Daines commented. “It’s also going to include more money for vaccines and vaccine distribution, which is what we need to do to end this pandemic.”

"Today Congress listened to Montana’s common sense and passed a coronavirus economic stimulus package that will help put our economy on track and get Montanans back to work,” Sen. Tester said. “For months I have pushed leadership on both sides of the aisle to negotiate a package. No one got everything they wanted, but it’s a bipartisan compromise that provided targeted support for Montana’s small businesses and for folks who lost their jobs through no fault of their own, and it will help get vaccines to folks in rural America quickly and effectively.”

“We got some big wins for Montana in this bill including $284 billion for Montana’s small businesses through the Paycheck Protection Program, $20 billion in vaccine procurement and distribution, an additional $300 per week for unemployment benefits for folks who’ve lost their job through no fault of their own, and support for tribal health, for public education, for the live venues and housing,” Sen. Tester continued.

“Now it’s time to get this relief out the door as soon as possible. I’m going to keep working across the aisle to aggressively hold the federal government accountable so that the relief gets in the hands of Montana’s families,” Sen. Tester concluded.