Senator Collins’ Statement on Call with Administration on COVID-19 Relief Proposal

Senators Collins and Manchin are the co-leaders of the bipartisan, bicameral group that spearheaded the $900 billion COVID-19 relief bill that was signed into law last month

Washington, D.C.—U.S. Senator Susan Collins released a statement following a conference call she and Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) led to National Economic Director Brian Deese.  The bipartisan group, which included more than a dozen of Senators Collins’ and Manchin’s colleagues, discussed the Biden Administration’s proposed $1.9 trillion Covid-19 relief package.

 

“Senator Joe Manchin and I led a useful call of our bipartisan, bicameral group this afternoon to discuss with Biden Administration’s officials their proposed $1.9 trillion Covid-19 relief package. 

 

“While I support prompt additional funding for vaccine production, distribution, and vaccinators, and for testing, it seems premature to be considering a package of this size and scope.

 

“Less than a month ago, President Trump signed into law a $900 billion COVID relief package that our bipartisan group played a key role in negotiating.  This funding is in addition to the nearly $4 trillion that Congress had provided previously for COVID relief. It appears that approximately $1.8 trillion of that money has yet to be spent.

 

“Following the briefing, it was not clear to me how the Administration came up with its $1.9 trillion figure.

 

“There was widespread agreement that additional funding is needed for vaccine distribution, and I mentioned my concern that rural hospitals require more assistance in this regard.  I also raised the issue that the additional stimulus checks are not well-targeted to those who would need them most. For example, under the proposal, a family of five with an income of over $325,000 would still receive a partial check even if they have been unaffected financially by the pandemic.

 

“Moving forward, I want our bipartisan, bicameral group to get together to determine if we can come up with a more targeted package that would address unmet needs that we are experiencing now as we fight this persistent pandemic.”

 

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