Rounds not hopeful for a relief package

Benjamin Chase of the Plainsman
Posted 8/6/20

Senator Rounds comments on events in Washington, D.C.

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Rounds not hopeful for a relief package


Senator Mike Rounds (R-SD) held a press briefing on Thursday afternoon and expressed disappointment in the ability of his colleagues in both Congressional bodies to get a deal made on a new COVID-19 relief package.

“Things are not moving ahead very quickly at all,” bemoaned Rounds.

Rounds expressed that the impasse is largely between Republicans who do not want to add on debt and Democrats, who he states are “unwilling to move” from the $3 trillion aid package passed earlier this summer in the House.

A cornerstone in the debate is the $600 per week additional payment to unemployment that had been provided to those who qualified for unemployment benefits.

Rounds stated that there is simply no way that the Republican-majority Senate will pass any legislation that retains the full $600 per week stipend as he states that it “disincentivizes people from returning to work.”

“I’ve spent time talking to business owners from all over,” Rounds remarked. “They all say that they are in a quandary of either turning in an employee who refuses to work because the benefits are too good to stay home or losing a good employee.”

When asked by a reporter about the health status of employees who are not able to be safe at their place of employment, Rounds responded that he wants something in place so everyone can return safely but also not stay home because they are making more money by doing so.

If a deal cannot be reached, the issue of an aid package could become one out of the hands of the Congress.

“The President has looked into executive orders, and he may issue one, and then we’ll see what the House does with that,” Rounds said.