Schiff On Relief Package: ‘There is Much More That Needs to be Done’

All News KCBS Radio
March 31, 2020 - 5:58 pm
Congressman Adam Schiff

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Last week, Congress passed a $2.2 trillion relief package to try to stem the economic losses from the coronavirus outbreak. In the near term, it’s certainly helped the stock market, and it’s set to help many Americans pay some bills, but some are wondering if it is enough.

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) spoke with KCBS Radio about the unprecedented package, “it’s worth taking a moment to realize” how much went into the historic bill before thinking about the next steps. 

Schiff applauded the inclusion of the gig economy and freelance workers into the bill.

“For the first time, they’ll be covered by unemployment benefits,” Schiff said. “Many of them would not be covered otherwise.”

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Small businesses are also set to benefit largely from the package, as they’ll get help keeping employees on the payroll, as well as assistance paying rent and utilities with “forgivable loans,” which Schiff said are “effectively grants.”

Schiff summarized the benefits of the package, saying that there are billions of dollars for hospitals, healthcare workers and for the states themselves, but that there is much more that needs to be done for the homeless population and for the economy once it starts to recover.

He said he was pleased to at least see something supportive for an infrastructure package from President Trump on his Twitter.

When asked what the next steps are, Schiff said that it’s important to see how effective the stay-at-home order will be and what the impacts will be economically. 

“We’re going to have to adapt, and we’ll go step-by-step and meet the needs of the economy and healthcare needs of the public,” Schiff said. “I would love to see an infrastructure package this big, but we may need other types of relief before we get to infrastructure.”

As the government continues to operate in the midst of the pandemic—especially with members who have tested positive for the coronavirus—Schiff told KCBS Radio that working around social distancing can be difficult, such as how to hold committee meetings and votes. 

“We have to follow the advice of the experts,” Schiff said. “Avoid unnecessary congregation of members on the House floor. In committees, we’ll have to stagger attendance to get the work done, and vote by proxy rather than remote vote."

 

Written by Mallory Somera.