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Tester pleased with progress on stimulus package

Tester Stimulus
Posted at 7:19 PM, Dec 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-17 21:19:38-05

WASHINGTON, DC — There are still details being worked out, but U.S. Sen. Jon Tester says he's happy to see some movement on a new stimulus package in Congress.

While the $900 billion will only go so far, Montana's senior senator says he's "very happy" with that number. Talks are still underway in Washington, but a deal might not be final until the weekend.

Tester, a Democrat, isn't sure how all that will be delivered, as details are still being developed. But he says at the start of the week he didn't even think it was possible for a stimulus deal before the end of the session. So he's encouraged by the progress.

"I think that this is a good package. There's money for hospitals, which is really important. There's money for schools. With distance learning and in-person learning, there's additional costs there," Tester said.

"There's going to be help for businesses that have been really hit by this pandemic. I think it's good to have that targeted. There's going to be help for working families with unemployment extensions. Now, I haven't seen the language to make sure all those things are in there, but that's what I've been told is in there," Tester added.

Although the package is likely to include $600 checks for individuals, Sen. Tester doesn't see any help for local governments, which he says is unfortunate because that could just mean higher property taxes down the road as cities and counties try to make up their shortfalls.