The House Appropriations Committee approved a $3.8 trillion stimulus package for the fiscal year that began Sept. 30, and the Senate passed the same package, with three other stimulus packages to follow, with no Democrats supporting the bills.
The package includes $30 billion in supplemental federal funds to help states meet their debt obligations and $10 billion in relief for rural areas affected by natural disasters.
It also includes $5 billion in additional federal assistance for job training programs, $10.7 billion in aid for state colleges and universities, and $3 billion for school construction projects.
The $3 trillion package includes a range of spending priorities including $500 billion for unemployment benefits for the long-term unemployed, $300 billion for jobless assistance for unemployed workers and $300 million for job-training programs.
The House passed the first of the three stimulus packages, which includes $2.7 trillion in spending cuts, by a vote of 217-213 on Thursday.
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., praised the bipartisan work of the House and Senate in approving the package, which he said is “the first of many” stimulus packages approved during the lame duck session.
The House approved $2 billion for states to spend on job training for unemployed and underemployed workers, $4 billion to create jobs in rural areas, and another $1 billion to support school construction in California.
House Democrats in particular praised the work of McCarthy and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., for the bipartisan support for the package.
“It is a strong and historic accomplishment by our caucus,” said Rep. Joe Crowley, D, N.Y. “These bipartisan deals are a first step toward addressing our nation’s economic and national security challenges.”
McCarthy said he has long supported the need to boost the economy, but “this time it was a bipartisan effort to do so.
We have a long way to go.
It is a great day for all Americans.”
In the Senate, Democrats said they have made some concessions.
Sen. Patty Murray, D‑Wash., said the $2 million stimulus money will be available to state and local governments.
Murray added that she wants to help small businesses in her home state of Washington get back on their feet.
Murray, Murray’s counterpart from the Democratic-controlled Senate, said the bill includes $500 million to help rural states deal with natural disasters, $500 for states with severe drought and $1.5 billion for disaster relief programs.