Georgia’s new U.S. Senators help pass $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief plan

ATLANTA — Georgians are one step closer to getting another round of stimulus money.

During a marathon voting process on Saturday, the U.S. Senate passed a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief plan, which includes $1,400 direct payment checks for most Americans.

The bill passed along party lines 50-49 with one Republican who didn’t vote. It now goes back to the U.S. House for approval.

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The biggest takeaway for many Americans is who now qualifies for the $1,400 stimulus checks.

According to the plan, people who earn less than $75,000 and married couples who earn less than $150,000 a year will receive a check.

“For students such as myself, it’s been really challenging and I’m just really grateful for these stimulus checks,” Georgia law school student Queen Johnson said. “I have to pay for my groceries. I have to pay for rent, utilities, pay for my testing. Tuition didn’t stop.”

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With the vote along party lines and Democrats holding the majority, Georgia’s flip of its two Senate seats played a major role.

Channel 2 Action News spoke with Georgia U.S. Senators Rev. Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff as they returned to Atlanta from Washington just hours after the vote.

“$8 billon dollars to our state and local governments right here in Georgia. Some $4 billion dollars to reopen schools. $5 billion dollars for farmers of color and $2 billion to finally expand Medicare. So help is on the way. Relief is right around the corner,” Warnock said.

“The United States is turning the corner when it comes to the pandemic. This bill when it becomes law will provide thousands of dollars in economic relief to families in Georgia,” Ossoff said.

In the U.S. House, Georgia Republicans have repeatedly criticized the Democrats’ bill.

“The response from President Biden and congressional Democrats to the COVID-19 crisis has been rushed, hyperpartisan, and out of touch with the urgent needs facing the public,” Rep. Drew Ferguson tweeted.

“GA is the worst-hit state under the Pelosi Payoff because it rewards blue state lockdowns while punishing hardworking Georgians and seniors. If this plan becomes law, GA seniors will be hit with an $11.5b Medicare cut. Our senators from GA can and should stop this very bad deal,” Rep. Buddy Carter tweeted along with a video message.

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