SALT LAKE CITY (KUTV) — Utah Sen. Mitt Romney is not in line with President Donald Trump again — this time over stimulus checks.
The president called individual checks of $600 for many people in Utah and across the country, a provision in the newly passed COVID-19 relief/federal budget bill, “ridiculously low,” and said they should be $2,000 per person.
Romney helped craft the bill, but said he was not in favor this time of even the $600 checks for individuals making $75,000 or less, $1,200 for couples with incomes up to $150,000 — and he seemed no fan of the higher amount.
“If we went to $2,000 per person, the additional borrowing would be up to almost $500 billion,“ Romney said during a virtual meeting sponsored by the Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday. “Someone’s got to pay for that. We can’t just have free money.“
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Still, Romney did not seem opposed to other big spending in the bill, including nearly $300 billion in new Paycheck Protection Program loans and grants, $47 billion for transportation, money for education, payments to landlords, and $13 billion for farmers and ranchers.
We looked at how to get help to people who need it right away, in an emergency setting,“ he said. “People who, let’s say, have a theater that’s going out of business, or a child care facility going out of business, or a restaurant closing down.“
Meantime, curious comments from Congressman John Curtis (R-UT03) who voted against the stimulus/budget package.
Curtis earlier this week called the legislation the “height of Congressional dysfunction,” and said Congress “failed” to assemble the bill in a responsible manner.
Still, on Wednesday he said Romney “did some amazing work on the COVID relief bill,” and said he hoped there is no question in anyone’s mind about his “love and support of business.”
2News asked Curtis’ office to reconcile those statements.
The Congressman applauds Senator Romney’s work to help small businesses and other individuals and would have supported much of the COVID legislation as a stand-alone bill, just like he voted for a stand alone COVID relief bill previously,” replied Curtis spokeswoman Ally Riding. “The dysfunction came from throwing the COVID bill into a several thousand page government funding bill, filled with various major policy changes, and releasing the text just hours before the vote.”