Illinois Congressional leaders had mixed reviews of the 2 trillion dollar stimulus package that was passed overnight. 18th District Congressman Darin LaHood applauded the Trump Administration for awarding $3.5 million in Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Funding to Community Health Centers in Illinois as a part of the bill. Of that total, 18th District health centers will receive $307,257 according to LaHood. Of the 18th District total, $53,133 will be going to the Cass County Health Department in Virginia.
13th District Congressman Rodney Davis announced that his bill to ease student loan debt during the crisis made it into Phase Three of the Senate’s bill package. House Resolution 1043 allows employers to offer a tax-free benefit of up to $5,250 to their employees to pay down existing student debt just as is currently allowed for tuition assistance. Davis had introduced the bill in House every year since 2014. The benefit will be available until January 1st, 2021.
Senator Tammy Duckworth called the bill far from perfect but necessary. Duckworth said she was disappointed that the bill did not include more provisions to make it easier for women to access healthcare as well any provisions making it easier for people with disabilities, the elderly, and survivors of rape to get the help they need.
Senator Dick Durbin applauded the provisions that Democrats were able to get in the bill including expanded unemployment benefits, relief for rural and small hospitals, banning stock buybacks, and assistance for student loan debt.
The bill passed the Senate 96-0 last night. The House is expected to pass the bill Friday morning before sending it to President Donald Trump for his signature.