(Washington) -- The White House and U.S. Senate leaders overnight Wednesday reached a compromise on a $2 trillion stimulus package aimed to boosting the economy during the coronavirus outbreak.
Iowa Congresswoman Cindy Axne commented on the deal in an interview on KMA's "Morning Line" program Wednesday morning. Axne says the bill addresses some big needs in terms of health care needs during the COVID-19 spread.
"In particular, it adds $130 billion for hospitals," said Axne. "One of the key things is $150 billion for state and local funds. We've got a lot of the support coming out at the state and local levels across the country to address the coronavirus, and we've got to make sure we support our state and local expenses, so that's the key part we were looking for."
Also in the bill: $367 billion dollars to help small businesses, and an expansion of unemployment benefits from three to four weeks. Axne says public safety is the key to the entire package.
"Keep people safe," said Axne. "Keep them home as much as possible, so that they can limit the spread of the disease, and keep people healthier, and flatten the curve, so that we don't have a spike here in Iowa, as we're starting to see. The other things is, we want to make sure to keep money in people's pockets, so that can keep food on the table, and keep the economy going."
Congressional Democrats were blasted earlier in the week for blocking previous versions of the stimulus bill. Axne says the main objections concerned a perceived lack of transparency and oversight over a $500 million appropriation for big corporations--derided by some critics as a "slush fund."
"That would be support for corporations," said the congresswoman. "Some corporate bailout money, so to speak, without the American people knowing where that money was going for six months. That was unacceptable. It's our taxpayer dollar money. It's adding to our debt. We want to make sure that we know how that money is being spent appropriately, and getting in the hands of the workers, not just people at the top of the corporations with stock buybacks."
The U.S House was expected to approve the package, then send it to President Trump for his immediate signature. You can hear the full interview with Cindy Axne on our "Morning Line" page at kmaland.com.