As a vote on the largest economic stimulus package in American history approaches in the U.S. House of Representatives, one Chicago congressman says he’s behind it.
“I’m ready to support the bill,” said U.S. Rep. Jesus “Chuy” Garcia, who represents Illinois’ 4th Congressional District. “I have some reservations, but we also have many good elements in the bill that are good for working class communities.”
Garcia says those include aid for Chicago’s public schools, transit and airports, which have all been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as expanded unemployment compensation.
Garcia also highlighted the provisions in the stimulus for small businesses.
“[The bill] will provide loans that are forgivable – in other words, they will turn into a grant if the owners, the employers, pay their workers, if they use their money appropriately, for rent, for mortgage payments, for utility payments.”
While the bill includes direct payments for millions of Americans, those won’t be extended to undocumented immigrants impacted by the coronavirus. Garcia’s district is home to many immigrants living in neighborhoods like Little Village, Pilsen and Humboldt Park.
“While they get left out, there are provisions in it that could help them with respect to access to health care. Hospitals and community health clinics are also finding relief in the bill, $120 billion will help alleviate the increased demand they are experiencing,” Garcia said.
Garcia says the state of Illinois may be able to step in to provide assistance to undocumented immigrants in Chicago.