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WASHINGTON–You will likely be getting a $600 check, perhaps within the next few days. The relief bill passed bu Congress includes those direct payments, and $300 per week in unemployment assistance. Hoosier Republicans and Democrats praised the bill, but were offended by the length of time it took to get it to a vote.

“As a Main Street entrepreneur, I am proud to support additional funding that will help sall business owners and working-class Hoosiers survive in this final battle against the pandemic,” said Republican Sen. Mike Braun. “The last week of eleventh hour negotiations and short-term spending bills reinforce what Hoosiers already know. Washington is broken.”

Democrat Andre Carson criticized Congress for not passing the House version of a relief bill.

“The House passed a strong COVID-19 relief bill months ago called the Heroes Act, but Leader McConnell refused to bring it up for a vote in the Senate,” said Carson.

Carson said he is pleased that the bill includes an additional round of direct payments to Americans, rental housing assistance, expanded nutrition assistance, plus additional funding for small and minority-owned businesses, including more Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funds. The bill funds critical transportation and infrastructure priorities, including $14 billion for transit to help front line workers get to work, and more funding for passenger rail and aviation workers.

The bill also provides billions of dollars to support the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccines.

Carson said the bill also includes his amendment to provide funding for pancreatic cancer research.

While Carson blamed Republicans for not passing the HEROES Act, Dr. Larry Bucshon, who represents southwest Indiana, blamed Democrats for a bill not getting passed earlier.

“The COVID-19 relief included in this deal could have been passed into law months ago, but Democrats in Congress blocked such legislation over 40 times,” he said.

Rep. Greg Pence said he is discouraged by the partisan politics, and doesn’t believe relief from the pandemic should be a political issue.

“Bolstered PPP for business owners, support for working families and students, and funding for transportation and infrastructure needs is good news for Americans coping with the COVID-19 pandemic. This package is a big step in the right direction in our efforts to fully reopen America and I look forward to President Trump swiftly signing it into law.”