Rep. Huizenga talks coronavirus relief bills, stimulus plan

Posted at 10:05 PM, Mar 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-19 18:36:40-04

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump has signed two packages of bills aimed at tackling the coronavirus pandemic and now lawmakers are focused on giving a boost to a faltering economy.

U.S. Rep. Bill Huizenga, R-Zeeland spoke with FOX 17 over FaceTime, as lawmakers on Capitol Hill prepare to review what they call Phase Three of coronavirus relief.

Nobody could have planned for what has been happening you know having all of these restaurants are shutting down having all of the movie theaters shutting down. Having retail areas being told that you know you can only have half the customers that you had previously,” Huizenga said

The first two packages of bills included provisions for free coronavirus testing, money for SNAP and WIC programs and also provides many workers with up to two-weeks of paid leave, if they are being treated or tested for the virus.

“As we're going into this phase three. Now it's really about the economy, how are we going to make sure that the economy is on steady ground” Huizenga explained.

On Thursday night, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell introduced a $1 trillion stimulus plan, which includes billions of dollars in loans for airlines and small businesses and more than $1,200 rebates for Americans who made less than $75,000 last year.

“The idea is to literally get money into people's hands as soon as possible, so that they can use that not to not to sit on not something that mattress, but to actually use for living,” Huizenga said.

He says its just one part of the puzzle to help those currently out of work amid widespread shutdowns here in Michigan.

“It’s tough, my nephew is exactly in that spot. He's a waiter and bartender in Grand Rapids and I know that this is hard. And that's one of the reasons why it's important to get some of these direct payments in, make sure that, whether they are needing it for, rent or food and those kinds of things, making sure that they're not getting penalized if they have to delay a payment,” Huizenga explained.

“Yeah, we're trying to think creatively about how to make sure that they're going to be okay. We all need to pull together and and make sure that we are going after the common enemy which is this coronavirus,” Huizenga added.

Huizenga is a hosting telephone town hall Friday morning at 9:30 am, where he will be answering questions about the coronavirus pandemic.

To join the call, click here.