(LaPorte, IN) - Indiana U.S Senator Mike Braun on Wednesday told several dozen business owners in LaPorte more COVID-19 financial relief from the federal government could be on the way.
Braun said opinions among lawmakers on what should be contained in a fourth stimulus package vary widely but his priority is need and firms overlooked by previous relief measures.
"I’m interested in those businesses that got left out,” he said.
Braun also said there is a chance for another stimulus package as long as it strictly provides help for financial struggles brought on by coronavirus, not unrelated pork democrats to a certain degree were able get included with the previous assistance.
“As long as we focus on errors and omissions and COVID related stuff we might get something done,” he said.
Braun said an example of need is Melrose Fireworks in Kingsbury, which revealed a dramatic drop in its pyrotechnic shows because of all of the events with large gatherings being cancelled to try and limit the spread of COVID-19.
The republican from downstate Jasper was invited to City Hall by Mayor Tom Dermody to hear about the struggles from local business owners and offer feedback on the additional help that might be on the way.
If there is another relief package, Braun said there’s a short window to get it done.
He said a spending package would have to be adopted between Congress reconvening later this month and when federal lawmakers adjourn for three weeks in August.
“After that there’s just not going to be much time left in the calendar to do it,” he said.
State Representative Jim Pressel of Rolling Prairie said he was encouraged by the talks Braun reported were occurring at the federal level to help businesses pinched financially by the virus.
“I’m excited to see what’s going to come out of that,” he said.
Braun also said tightening restrictions due to recent major spikes in COVID-19 cases should only happen in major population centers to avoid crippling the economy nationwide.
He said the spikes are mostly in younger people and efforts should be taken to prevent them from spreading it to the older more at risk age group.
“That might be the pattern of how we get through this until we have herd immunity and vaccinations that put this in the rear view mirror,” he said.