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March 28, 2020

‘Big win’ for Americans, says Trone

WASHINGTON — U.S. Rep. David Trone called the $2.2 trillion stimulus package passed by Congress on Friday a “big win” for Americans who are facing hard times during the coronavirus outbreak.

Trone spoke to the Times-News by phone on Friday afternoon shortly after offering support for the stimulus bill on the House floor.

“It’s a big win for the 6th (Congressional) District and Western Maryland and Americans everywhere,” said Trone. “The bill is geared toward the working class American. It’s probably the largest bill ever passed in the United States. I think it is an excellent piece of legislation at a incredibly difficult time.”

 

Trone said lawmakers have been working in a bipartisan manner to get relief to Americans. He urged support for the bill on the House floor earlier Friday.

“…Our nation has never seen anything like the coronavirus outbreak,” he said. “At a time when our American businesses are forced to close and families face fear and uncertainty, we do what Americans do best: we come together and support one another.

“This bill puts workers first with an additional $600 a week in unemployment insurance and puts families first putting $1,200 directly in the pockets of Americans. It supports small business with an infusion of fast relief grants and loans.”

A press release from Trone’s office said the stimulus package includes “$150 billion for a Coronavirus Relief Fund with Maryland expecting to receive $2.3 billion. It also provides immediate, direct cash payments to Americans of $1,200 for each adult and $500 for each child, beginning to phase out at an annual income of $75,000 for an individual and $150,000 for a household.”

 

“This is a big relief for those who are facing hard times,” Trone told the Times-News. “Hopefully you will begin to see the payments in the next three weeks. The third piece is the small businesses piece. It will give them relief in the form of a loan; if you keep your employees it is forgiven.”

The package provides more than $375 billion in small business relief, including $349 billion for forgivable loans to small businesses to pay their employees and retaining them on the payroll. It also includes $17 billion for debt relief for current and new SBA borrowers, and $10 billion in immediate disaster grants.

“These payments will not only keep businesses afloat, but will also help keep employees on the payroll,” said Trone.

The package also provides approximately $200 billion for hospitals, health care workers, and health research and includes funding for personal protective equipment desperately needed by our health care workers, including ventilators, N95 masks, gowns and gloves.

“What I like, it was totally bipartisan,” said Trone. “Everyone is united in trying to get relief to the American people. The fact we could pass a $2 trillion bill, the largest bill in the history of the U.S. … it will really make a difference. It’s what the American people and the American economy needs.

“It’s encouraging to see the atmosphere (on Capitol Hill) is really people saying all partisanship is gone. Americans stepped up in World War II and the Great Depression and the 2008 (financial crisis) and during the 9/11 (terror attacks). We stepped up and came together and showed American grit and ingenuity.”