Sen. Toomey says need for coronavirus relief outweighs bill’s problems: ‘Time is running out’

Sen. Toomey says need for coronavirus relief outweighs bill's problems: 'Time is running out'

President Trump has yet to sign off on massive legislation that includes $ 900 billion for coronavirus relief and a $ 1.4 trillion spending bill, but Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., thinks Trump should just sign it despite his gripes.

Toomey said that he too has problems with the legislation, but as enhanced unemployment benefits expired on Saturday, he believes the need for relief outweighs the drawbacks.

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“Look if it were just the free-standing government funding bill, I would almost certainly be voting against that, but I think the COVID relief measures are really, really important,” Toomey told “Fox News Sunday.”

Toomey pointed to Americans who have been out of work due to the economic shutdown that resulted from the pandemic and the small businesses that are struggling to survive.

“I think we need the extended unemployment benefits, I think we need another round of the loans which were really grants to small businesses,” Toomey said, noting that “time’s running out.”

The bill calls for $ 600 payments to be sent to all Americans, but Trump is pushing for that number to be increased to $ 2,000. 

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“I think what he ought to do is sign this bill and then make the case,” Toomey said. Congress can pass another bill.”

Toomey said he disagrees with the idea of sending $ 2,000 checks to all Americans, given that not everyone is suffering financial losses from the pandemic.

“Consider the millions of federal employees who never missed a check, they’re not going to miss a check,” the senator said. “Their expenses were probably somewhat diminished. Savings rates went through the roof. Why would we be sending several thousand dollars to these folks? This money isn’t sitting on a shelf.”

Toomey then answered questions about Trump’s string of pardons that he granted in recent days. While he defended the pardon of former national security adviser Michael Flynn, Toomey said others appeared to be a “misuse” of the broad presidential pardon power.

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“I think the case of Mike Flynn, for instance, was completely legitimate to pardon him because the prosecution was [an] abuse of power. I don’t think Michael Flynn ever committed a crime,” he said. “But some of these other cases, I mean my goodness we have tax fraud, bank fraud, witness tampering, obstruction of justice, but because they were close to the president they got pardoned.”

Toomey recognized that the pardons were constitutional, but said he believes some of them were “a misuse of the power.”

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