Butterfield votes to pass COVID-19 relief bill | The Enterprise
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Butterfield votes to pass COVID-19 relief bill

Posted on March 10, 2021

Local newsTop newsCOVID-19

Butterfield

Butterfield

Rep. G.K. Butterfield applauded the passage of a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill following a final House vote on Wednesday.

Butterfield, D-Wilson, joined the majority in a 220-211 vote to approve the American Rescue Plan Act. Following Senate passage on Saturday, the legislation advances to President Joe Biden, who’s pledged to sign it into law.

The American Rescue Plan will provide $1,400 stimulus payments to taxpayers who earn less than $80,000 per year and extends $300 weekly unemployment benefits through September, while funding coronavirus vaccine distribution and allocating nearly $130 billion to support school reopening.

“President Biden and Congressional Democrats have fulfilled a promise to the American people to deliver a bold COVID-19 relief package that will protect American lives and get our economy back on track,” Butterfield said in a Wednesday news release.

The Wilson congressman touted nutrition assistance for 40 million Americans, allocations for housing, child care and health care programs and expansions of the child tax credit and earned income tax credit for low-income workers.

“The economic impact of COVID-19 has devastated families and businesses across the nation. To deliver immediate relief to working families bearing the brunt of the crisis, eligible recipients will receive economic impact payments of up to $1,400 per person,” Butterfield said. “This follows the $600 down payment enacted in December and fulfills Democrats’ promise to put $2,000 into Americans’ pockets.”

The relief bill includes money for Paycheck Protection Program forgivable loans and economic injury disaster loans, along with funds to support first responders, health care providers and other essential workers.

Republican lawmakers objected to the nearly $2 trillion price tag and its impact on the deficit and national debt.

North Carolina’s two Republican U.S. senators, Richard Burr and Thom Tillis, voted against the bill on Saturday. It cleared the Senate on a 50-49 vote.

“Less than 9% of the funding in this legislation is for fighting the epidemic, while more than $1 trillion of the bipartisan COVID-19 spending appropriated by Congress in 2020 hasn’t even been spent yet,” Rep. David Rouzer, R-Wilmington, said in a Wednesday statement.

Rouzer faulted Biden and congressional Democrats for backing the American Rescue Plan over Republican proposals he described as bipartisan virus relief measures.

“This legislation is nothing more than a wish list of giveaways for the Democrat Party’s very liberal wing under the guise of COVID-19 relief,” Rouzer said.

The release from Butterfield’s office closed with a message of optimism: “...the American people should know that help is on the way.” 

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