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Johnson Is Part Of Bi-Partisan Group Unveiling Coronavirus Relief Package

Congressman Dusty Johnson

South Dakota’s lone representative in the US House is part of a bi-partisan group unveiling a coronavirus relief package amidst stalled congressional negotiations.

The 25 Republicans and 25 Democrats call themselves the Problem Solvers Caucus. Their package includes aid for individuals, unemployment assistance, state and local government money and a new round of paycheck protection plan loans.

The relief package also includes election aid dollars. With the general election less than 50 days away, Republican Dusty Johnson says Congress does not have the luxury of inaction.

“I think we need to finish our work,” Johnson says. “The reality is we have a job to do and we have not done it. I think it’s telling that you had a group of back benchers—I mean rank and file members—who were willing to step up and introduce their own plan. My question for Speaker (Nancy) Pelosi and Leader (Mitch) McConnell and others would be, ‘How come you can’t get this done?’”

Included in the package is a deadline extension to spend the first coronavirus relief money. That’s something Governor Kristi Noem has called for.

Johnson says a hard deadline promotes wasteful spending.

Lee Strubinger is SDPB’s Rapid City-based news and political reporter. A former reporter for Fort Lupton Press (CO) and Colorado Public Radio, Lee holds a master’s in public affairs reporting from the University of Illinois-Springfield.