CORONAVIRUS

$600 stimulus a 'good start,' but Rep.-elect Ashley Hinson says some need more

Ashley Hinson speaks with the media at her Cedar Rapids campaign office Nov. 4, the day after she won election to Congre
Ashley Hinson speaks with the media at her Cedar Rapids campaign office Nov. 4, the day after she won election to Congress. Hinson, who will be sworn in Sunday, said Wednesday the $600 stimulus checks are “a good start,” but that Congress may need to do more for those most in need. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)

Ashley Hinson, who will be sworn in as Iowa’s 1st District congresswoman Sunday, is calling $600 stimulus checks “a good start” but expects many Americans will need more help.

“For some families, that is not enough right now,” Hinson, a Marion Republican elected in November, said Wednesday about the payments included in the $908 billion stimulus package approved by Congress. “So I definitely support the direct payments to people who need them.”

Need is the operative word for Hinson, who has heard from some northeast Iowans who don’t need the stimulus checks and want to send the money back.

She hasn’t made up her mind about calls by President Donald Trump, congressional Democrats and some Republicans to increase the stimulus to $2,000. She would prefer “a way that we could better target some of that.”

The stimulus package Congress approved and Trump signed will send $600 payments — up to $3,000 for families of five earning as much as $150,000 — and lesser amounts to household with incomes as high as $210,000.

The Democratic House proposal, with a cost of $464 billion, would provide $2,000 payments before phasing out completely for households with incomes of $350,000 or more.

“I’m going to keep listening to Iowans about what their needs are and take that feedback with me to Washington,” Hinson told reporters, “But I said the 600 payment is a good start, and we can go from there.”

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Hinson said her priority in the next few months will be looking at the results of the stimulus programs — whether they were effective and whether more needs to be done. If another round of stimulus is needed, Congress should act quickly.

“This process took six months for them to come to the table and get this done, which is unacceptable,” she said.

“People’s livelihoods are on the line,” she said. “So we need to be at least having those conversations about getting those dollars to people who need them.”

Comments: (319) 398-8375; james.lynch@thegazette.com

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