Rep. David Trone’s thoughts on pandemic relief after meeting with local business leaders

Maryland

MARYLAND (WDVM) — Rep. David Trone spoke with business leaders in the sixth district last week in a regularly-scheduled meeting. Topics that were covered included how businesses are faring as the weather changes, the current state of mental health, the rising opioid epidemic and the limited amount of time before congress recesses.

Standing out amongst all of these issues is the ticking clock as time runs out to pass a pandemic relief package that both bodies of Congress can come to an agreement on.

“We’ve gotta get a bipartisan situation here. Too much in Washington is ‘Republicans’ and ‘Democrats’. We need to be Team America and, with COVID, all working across the aisle,” said Rep. Trone.

Despite not having everything that the representative would wish for, the $908 billion relief package spearheaded by Sen. Joe Manchin is something that Trone remains optimistic about.

“It’s not perfect,” said Rep. Trone. “We were at over $2 trillion. I think that would be what’s needed, to be honest with you. But McConnell is stuck at $500 billion, so if we meet in the middle at $900 billion, we’ll be able to get money for state and local government. There’s $160 billion in for that. That’s crucial.”

While Rep. Trone is willing to compromise with his colleagues in Congress, there are certain points that he feels must be argued for. Namely, which businesses receive the desperately needed relief money once it is approved.

“We’re trying to aim [the funding] at all small businesses — no chains. And flexibility. Too often government prescribed how you spend it, and as a businessman, everybody’s different. So we’ve gotta have that flexibility.”

The House of Representatives’ last day in session will be Dec. 10, and the Senate will adjourn on Dec. 18.

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