U.S. Senator Rob Portman Explains Why He Will Vote For COVID-19 Aid Package

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (Statehouse News Bureau) — Republican U.S. Senator Rob Portman says he’ll vote for a COVID aid package when it comes to the Senate floor tomorrow even though it doesn’t contain everything he’d like.

U.S. Sen. Rob Portman
U.S. Sen. Rob Portman [Statehouse News Bureau]
Portman said he wishes the package would include business tax credits and aid for them to purchase PPE, along with additional funding for state and local governments. This package doesn’t have that.

“But it does include a lot of areas of agreement between Republicans and Democrats,” Portman said.

The $16 billion Senate package has money for testing and contact tracing, an extension of the PPP small business loan program, an extra $300 per week for unemployment through the end of the year, liability protections for businesses and schools and $105 billion for K-12 schools and higher ed. Portman thinks Republicans can pass it in the Senate but isn’t sure if it can muster the 60-vote super majority.

The Democratic dominated U.S. House passed its own COVID-19 aid package earlier this summer. But the Republican led Senate found the $3 trillion dollar price tag for the plan unpalatable and basically declared it dead on arrival in that chamber. The scaled down Senate plan includes some of the key parts of the House passed plan.