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Horn: Another Coronavirus Relief Bill Needed, But Unemployment Benefit Can't 'Disincentivize Work'

Liam James Doyle / NPR

Oklahoma’s sole Democrat in Congress said Monday another coronavirus relief bill is needed as cases surge, despite voting against a $3 trillion package in May.

U.S. Rep. Kendra Horn told an AARP virtual town hall the bill known as the HEROES Act was too big and too broad to get her support.

Horn said she wants to see something focused on small business and local government support, virus response, and extending the enhanced federal unemployment benefit that expires at the end of the week.

"But I do think we have to look at what that amount looks like, because $600 a week in addition to other unemployment in places like Oklahoma is significantly more than it is in other places. And I think that’s something we have to talk about," Horn said.

Horn did not suggest an amount for a federal unemployment benefit past July.

"I don’t know what the right amount is, but I think we need to talk about that and make sure it’s balancing the needs to make sure the people who are unemployed don’t lose their homes don’t — you know, are able to put a roof over their head — but not disincentivize work," Horn said.

The Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions, or HEROES Act, passed the U.S. House two months ago but stalledin the Senate, with no action on the bill since June 1.

Matt Trotter joined KWGS as a reporter in 2013. Before coming to Public Radio Tulsa, he was the investigative producer at KJRH. His freelance work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times and on MSNBC and CNN.
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