Nebraska Congressmen Weigh-In on Coronavirus Relief Talks

Dec. 17, 2020, 5:30 p.m. ·

Photo by Krisztian Kormos from Pexels

Washington is in a flurry right as lawmakers attempt to work out a coronavirus relief proposal to attach to the federal budget as the deadline to pass a budget heads into the 11th-hour.

To get his support, Congressman Jeff Fortenberry told NET News any coronavirus relief should have direct payments to individuals and families, an extension to unemployment benefits, and more money for the Paycheck Protection Program.

“There are still a number of serious consequences that are affecting our economic wellbeing as well as our health care system,” Fortenberry said. ”I'm very much in favor of seeing a responsible package go through that complements and is framed around what our existing package did because it was very helpful to save our health care system and to save our economy.”

Congressman Adrian Smith agrees that a deal is close, but he can’t say for sure whether there will be coronavirus relief before lawmakers go home for the holidays.

"I think right now it’s a little better than 50-50 from the sounds of it,” said Smith. “But, the negotiations are largely between Nancy Pelosi and Mitch McConnell. We’re not privy to all those details, but we are establishing our priorities.”

Lawmakers have until 12:01 a.m. Saturday to pass a budget and avoid a government shutdown.