WASHINGTON, DC — Tuesday evening on the Senate floor, U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) gave his 19th floor speech calling on the Senate to act on another COVID-19 relief bill before the end of the year.
Earlier on Tuesday, a bipartisan group of senators unveiled a bipartisan proposal which Portman believes is a good starting point for negotiations. Portman made it clear that the Senate must act now to avoid further economic suffering by providing another relief package to serve as a bridge to when vaccines will be readily available in the spring enabling a return to normal life.
A number of important programs designed to help Americans navigate the health care and economic crises caused by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic are set to expire at the end of 2020, including the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) benefit, the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), a moratorium on evictions for renters, and deferrals on student loan payments. The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) has already expired, hurting many small businesses in Ohio and around the country.
Failure to extend these programs into 2021 could cause significant economic hardship for thousands of people at a time when COVID-19 cases are surging and putting the country in jeopardy of further economic suffering. That is why Portman believes the Senate should not adjourn until such legislation is passed.