Both of Idaho’s congressmen voted for the coronavirus stimulus bill that passed the U.S. House on Friday.
The bill, which had already passed the Senate and passed the House on a voice vote after U.S. Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., unsuccessfully tried to demand a roll call, includes $1,200 checks for individuals making up to $75,000 a year and $2,400 to couples making up to $150,000 a year, plus $500 per child. It also includes increases in unemployment, Medicare reimbursements, funding for hospitals and local governments, and aid for businesses, among other provisions.
U.S. Rep. Mike Simpson, a Republican who represents eastern and south-central Idaho in Congress, said the Trump administration and U.S. Sen. Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, played particular roles in crafting the legislation. He also thanked U.S. Sen. Jim Risch, R-Idaho, his fellow Idaho U.S. Rep. Russ Fulcher, and Idaho Gov. Brad Little for their contributions.
“These are truly unprecedented times, and that calls for extraordinary measures for our country to rise to the occasion,” Simpson said. “The legislation passed by the House is a necessary step towards stabilizing our economy, providing resources for health providers on the front lines, and furthers access to patients who have been stricken by the virus. This will not be the last package Congress considers, but it is a meaningful step for workers and businesses who have already been severely impacted.”
Fulcher, who voted against a $50 billion coronavirus spending bill earlier this month that Simpson supported, said the U.S. is “at war with an invisible foe.”
“For the first time in history, we mandated the economy shut down by law, and we know the cost — it’s about $2 trillion,” Fulcher said. “So we must ask, what is the cost of not acting? It’s agonizing to take on this debt, but here’s a game changer for me: when the government shut down the economy, it assumed the responsibility for bringing it back. This virus may threaten our health, but 98% or more will survive that, and we will not allow the virus to take away our livelihoods.”