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Arizona's Delegation Weighs In On $2 Trillion Coronavirus Relief Package

Congress passed a $2 trillion stimulus package Friday, and President Trump signed it into law shortly after. 

The stimulus would send $1,200 checks to many individuals and $2,400 checks to many couples, relief for small businesses, expanded unemployment benefits, and boosts to federal funding for food aid and healthcare.

Arizona Democratic Rep. Tom O'Halleran says the bill was overdue — Arizonans needed help sooner.

"I urged my fellow colleagues to vote for this legislative package that will provide relief to struggling American families and ensure that tribal communities are not overlooked," O'Halleran said. "Families and businesses across America and Arizona are struggling, and healthcare workers and first responders are being asked to perform their important work without proper protective gear."

Speaking during a telephone town hall Friday, Arizona Sen. Martha McSally says in addition to stimulus checks headed out to individual Americans, the bill contains significant relief for small businesses that are bearing the brunt of coronavirus-related economic pain.

“We have an unprecedented provision in this bill where we’re trying to ensure that these small businesses don’t go under and go bankrupt and never open again, but also keep employees connected to employers to the max extent possible,” McSally said. "We've got to make sure that we support the fundamental elements of our economy, so that when we do defeat this virus and get on the other side of this, people can swiftly go back to work."

Republican Andy Biggs supported the bill, but criticized what he considered unnecessary pork-barrel spending attached to it.

“We might have produced a bill that didn’t include millions of dollars for nonessential non-emergency related funding, such as the Kennedy Center, NPR, the Smithsonian Institute and museum, and library services," Biggs said. "These may be worthy, or not, but they have no place in an economic relief package."

→  Read The Latest News On The Coronavirus Disease 

Scott Bourque was a reporter and podcast producer at KJZZ from 2019 to 2022.