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Sen. Rob Portman Disappointed in COVID-19 Relief Bill

U.S. Sen. Rob Portman
Andy Chow
Statehouse New Bureau
U.S. Sen. Rob Portman says he's unhappy with how House Democrats passed the most recent COVID-19 relief bill over the weekend. He hopes to work with Democrats in the Senate on amendments to the package.

Republican Sen. Rob Portman says he’s disappointed in the new COVID-19 stimulus bill passed by Democrats in the House this past weekend.

The $1.9 trillion relief package includes direct aid to small businesses, direct checks to Americans, an increase in the child tax credit, and direct funding to both state and local governments and schools. However, Portman says the bill did not garner bipartisan support.

Portman: no Republican input or support

“I’m very discouraged by the fact that the Biden administration chose to try to jam through a COVID-19 bill without any Republican input or support. It makes no sense," he said. "COVID-19 legislation over the last year has always been bipartisan. We’ve done it five times with huge bipartisan votes each time."

Portman says he doesn’t believe the bill is good policy, adding that a lot of the money isn’t related to COVID-19. He says he is hopeful about working with Senate Democrats on amendments to the relief package. The Senate is set to take up the bill as soon as tomorrow.

Abigail Bottar covers Akron, Canton, Kent and the surrounding areas for Ideastream Public Media. A Northeast Ohio native and lifelong listener of public radio, Abigail started in public radio as a news intern at WKSU. She graduated in 2022 with a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Kent State University.