The following is a media release from Sen. Ed Markey, who was elected by voters in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to serve the state in Washington DC in the US Senate. He is a Democrat.
WASHINGTON DC – On Monday night, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a coronavirus relief package. Then, the U,.S. Senate voted 92-6 vote, to approve more than $900 billion for coronavirus assistance.
Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) released the following statement upon passage of a $900 billion bipartisan coronavirus relief package.
“Workers, small businesses, and families may be getting an ounce of relief in this coronavirus package, but they need a ton more. With millions literally lining up in bread lines, this relief package isn’t even half a loaf. It is a terrible day in Congress that we see the tragedy of hunger, unemployment, illness, and death, but Republican cruelty and partisanship overrule compassion and commonsense. This package must be only the beginning of our work to secure trillions more in aid for the American people. They deserve so much more than this,” said the junior senator from Massachusetts.
A one-time direct cash payment, as well as extensions of vital nutrition funding and a national eviction moratorium will provide desperately-needed help during these darkest and coldest winter months. Massachusetts small businesses will receive another round of payroll assistance. And the extension of enhanced unemployment benefits for our gig workers and independent contractors – a program I fought to create at the beginning of the pandemic – will provide some temporary relief,” said Sen. markey.
“But expanding Pell Grants is not the kind of relief that cancellation of student debt would provide. A business tax credit is not the full paid sick time that all Americans deserve. As utility bills pile up, legislation that does not prevent the cruel shut-off of gas, electric, or water will lead to massive, unabated energy debt. Broadband funding that ignores the successful E-rate – a proven program that is ready to connect vulnerable students now to the internet – will do little to close the ‘homework gap’,” said Sen. Markey.
“Meanwhile, states and cities continue to be punished by Senate Republicans who refuse to provide them aid as they are left to bear the economic burden resulting from the Trump administration’s abdication of leadership during the pandemic,” said Sen. Markey.
“This deal is better than the Republican alternative of nothing, but it must only be the beginning – a down payment on what is to come. This cannot be the last time that Congress speaks on this issue,” said the senator.
“This January will mark the end of the Trump-McConnell era. With the Biden-Harris era set to begin, we must make comprehensive economic relief a Day One priority for the new Biden administration. I pledge my commitment to working with President Biden to pass the largest and most just relief package in our country’s history,” said Sen. Markey.