The House passed an economic stimulus bill over the weekend specifically aimed at easing the financial burden for families during the coronavirus pandemic which increases food assistance and unemployment benefits, and mandated sick leave for some.
All but 40 lawmakers in the House voted for the bill, but it's still unclear whether it will have enough support to make it through the Senate. It's a challenge that won't be easy, U.S. Rep. Katherine Clark, the sixth-highest ranking Democrat in the House, told Jim Braude on Greater Boston Monday night.
“I think that some of these battles are going to be hard. Republicans have never supported paid sick leave. They don’t believe in insuring every single American. These are going to be tough-won policies,” she said.
Clark noted that, so far, the President’s approach to the crisis is what she expected: “This is a personal PR crisis for him, instead of a public health and economic crisis for the American people.”
“We have to make sure we’re doing everything we can to save lives," she added. "I think the measures that are occurring in Massachusetts make sense to me. We have to act now."
Clark also seemed willing to support a plan put forth by former Massachusetts Governor and Republican Senator from Utah, Mitt Romney. In a list of proposals released today, Romney included giving all American adults $1,000 in response to the pandemic.
“I think what we are hearing from economists and experts is that we are going to need that direct stimulus, what the amount is, how we exactly put it together … we need to get money into people’s pockets so they can pay those bills until we can get this disease under control,” Congresswoman Clark said.