Senate Republicans negotiate potential second stimulus package

Published: Jul. 23, 2020 at 7:49 PM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - A historic nearly $2 trillion stimulus package went into effect near the beginning of the pandemic. Now, a second stimulus package is in the works in both the House and the Senate. The main difference this time is the price tag.

The CARES Act is the largest stimulus package in U.S. history, but a second round of potential coronavirus aid that passed through the House of Representatives is even larger, at $3.4 trillion.

The Senate’s version is expected to be much smaller at about $1 trillion. Senate Republicans said they can accomplish the same goals as the House bill with less cost. State lawmakers said that smaller second stimulus would help North Dakotans.

”Kids, health care, and jobs, so we’re trying to focus this package more than the previous CARES package. Hopefully it’s much more modest in terms of its cost,” said Sen. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D.

”North Dakota is doing better than much of the rest of the country and that’s why I go back to we have to be mindful of, yes where help is needed, fund it, but at the same time we have to be careful because of the cost here and be mindful of our debt and deficit,” said Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D.

The North Dakota Senators added they expect the aid to be directed at education, COVID-19 testing, assisting small businesses, and continued relief for the agricultural industry.

Lawmakers said they’re still negotiating certain issues like stimulus check amounts and unemployment benefits, which they’ll need to decide before the Senate is ready to pass the package.

Copyright 2020 KFYR. All rights reserved.

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