Radio Report: House Republicans say Democratic COVID-assistance bill falls short of real relief
The state House approved a COVID-relief bill Monday night, with most Republicans reluctantly voting no, saying it doesn't go far enough to provide real relief to struggling businesses and families. John Sattgast reports.
SATTGAST: House Bill 1368 spends just over $2 billion dollars of federal money for COVID relief. That's about half as much as the $4-billion-dollar Republican REAL Recovery for Washington Act, which would have also used two billion from the state's rainy-day fund.
On Monday, Republicans offered six amendments to pay for the Working Families Tax Credit, childcare, accelerated learning, emergency rental and utility assistance, school funding and employer relief from additional unemployment insurance taxes. This is Republican Budget Leader Representative Drew Stokesbary…
STOKESBARY: “It's not just raining. It's pouring. Is the Legislature snoring? Mr. Speaker, now is the time to use this money.”
SATTGAST: Democrats rejected the amendments. Olympia Representative Andrew Barkis joined with other Republicans to say the final relief package doesn't go far enough. . .
BARKIS: “We had an opportunity tonight to do what the people need us to do. And that is to do more.”
SATTGAST: The bill passed 61 to 36, with most Republicans voting no. House Republican Leader J.T. Wilcox called on lawmakers to work together during the session to provide further relief.
WILCOX: “Because this isn't about us. This is about all of our friends and neighbors that find themselves in the grip of history, in a way that no one ever dreamed that they would.”
SATTGAST: John Sattgast, the state Capitol.
###Washington State House Republican Communications
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