ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - The nearly $2 trillion COVID-19 relief bill is now in the House’s hands.
The Senate passed it this weekend with no Republican support.
Rep. Sanford Bishop, like most Democrats, said he was eager to see the measure pass.
Dougherty County’s GOP Chairman Tracy Taylor said the issues aren’t so cut and dry.
“Locally, especially Dougherty County residents, are fine with the COVID relief because they are in dire need of extra money for their household and people are still recovering from this coronavirus, and it has been detrimental to the community,” said Taylor.
The latest Census data indicates Dougherty County’s per capita income is about $22,000 annually. That was before the pandemic hit.
GOP members also question where all the money is going.
“The main concern is that in that bill, they don’t know where a lot of the other money is going to and they don’t want to feel like the House Democrats are just throwing things into the bill that is unnecessary,” explained Taylor.
Those thoughts were in line with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy. He said there are too many non-COVID-related expenses.
Most Democrats, including Rep. Bishop, are anxious to get the bill passed before unemployment benefits expire this month.
“Very, very hopeful that by the middle of the month, before the unemployment benefits, extended benefits expire, that a bill will be on the president’s desk for signature,” said Bishop.
Bishop said they’re not alone in that sentiment.
“Too many of our state and local governments are running out of revenue because of the sacrifices they’ve had to make over the last year in terms of COVID relief activities,” said Bishop. “I think all Americans will benefit. It’s very popular. I think somewhere between 60 to 70 percent of the American population is anxious for this relief to be released.”