WASHINGTON, D.C. — The majority of Ohio’s lawmakers joined the majority of Congress in voting for a coronavirus relief deal and a government funding package on Monday, eight months since Congress last took action.
Only two of Ohio’s 18 members of Congress voted against the bills — Representatives Jim Jordan (R, 4th Congressional District) and Warren Davidson (R, 8th Congressional District).
On Monday afternoon, several members spoke from the House floor.
“It still falls short of what we need to get through this crisis, but I will continue to stand up for my constituents of the 3rd Congressional District,” Rep. Joyce Beatty (D, 3rd Congressional District) said.
“While I’m relieved that Congress is finally acting on those cries for help, I’m dismayed that it’s taken this long,” Rep. Steve Chabot (R, 1st Congressional District) said.
The $900 billion COVID-19 relief bill will include $600 stimulus checks for most Americans who received the last round of direct payments, a temporary $300/week boost to unemployment benefits, it will bring back the Paycheck Protection program for small businesses, and it will provide more money for vaccine distribution, rental assistance and schools.
Ohio Democrats say it’s a bridge to the New Year.
“This was not enough that we’re doing today, it’s a down payment. It’s way better than nothing. It will mean people get some help, but this isn’t going to do what we did in March,” Senator Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) said in a virtual interview Monday afternoon.
Ohio Republicans say they will wait to see if this could be enough, or if more relief will be needed.
“I don’t want to give people government checks all the time, I want them to go get jobs and earn a living,” Rep. Steve Stivers (R, 15th Congressional District) said in a virtual interview Monday night. “The problem is we shut down the economy before, and so now we have to deal with that and try to bring it back. But the most important thing to me is to get this economy moving.”
The House and Senate also passed a $1.4 trillion government funding package that keeps the government open through September. President Trump is expected to sign both into law.