(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Indiana Senator Mike Braun says he supports the coronavirus stimulus bill taking shape in the Senate, and expects a final deal soon.
Braun says the $2 trillion package has taken a couple of days longer than he expected, but says
the remaining differences appear minor. He says the bill has the right overall approach — he says it’s not a bailout, but a bridge loan to get businesses through the economic crash sparked by the pandemic.
The bill being negotiated by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York) and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin reportedly gives taxpayers $1,200 each, and nearly $1 trillion to
corporations and small businesses. The package also includes grants and loans for hospitals, a funding
increase for the Centers for Disease Control, and money for research to develop a vaccine or treatment for the virus.
The CDC’s initial 15-day guidance to avoid gatherings of more than 10 people runs out on Monday, and President Trump has increasingly signaled he wants to relax those guidelines and reopen businesses shuttered by the pandemic. That contradicts warnings from doctors who say ending social distancing too quickly will accelerate the virus’s spread and overwhelm the nation’s hospitals.
Braun says there may be room for some variation from state to state, but says policymakers should “err on the side of not losing the ground we’ve gained” against the virus’s spread.
17 states, including Indiana, have ordered residents to stay at home to avoid catching or spreading the virus. At least five other states have ordered nonessential businesses to shut down.