Created: March 24, 2020 05:55 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.— Senate Democrats shot down a $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus deal Sunday that would have sent checks to most Americans. New Mexico Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich said the plan didn’t do enough to help small businesses or people who are already unemployed.
"The big concern was that there was a huge amount of money and that first bill. We’re talking about a trillion dollars which looked like it had big slush funds for corporations,” Udall said in a phone interview.
The Republicans’ plan would have sent individual checks to most Americans, bailouts for corporations and help for small businesses.
Sen. Heinrich and Sen. Udall said the bill did not guarantee enough help for everyday workers.
"The initial package simply did not have what we needed for the people that have already been laid off in New Mexico or potentially about to be laid off,” Heinrich said. “It didn't have enough for small businesses. It was a lot of money directed mostly at large corporations without a lot of oversight."
"We've learned if you don't put down conditions that show where the money should go— and in the case of many of these corporations the money should go to the workers–the front line workers to keep them employed so that they can continue with their lives, put a meal on the table and continue to do the things they're doing while we get through this pandemic,” Udall said.
It is still unclear how much money each family would receive. Some senators said American adults would receive $1,200 plus $500 per child.
"So we are just trying to make sure that the average New Mexican, whether they work at a small business, whether they work for a small business or a big business, have the same support through this very challenging time,” Heinrich said.
Both senators said they hope to vote on a revised stimulus package Tuesday night or Wednesday. From there, it would go to the House to get approved.
Rep. Deb Haaland said she also supports a deal that provides aid for small businesses.
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