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Rep. Peter Welch Answers Vermonters' Questions About The Coronavirus Relief Package

Rep. Peter Welch.
Alex Brandon
Associated Press File
Rep. Peter Welch answered some questions about the coronavirus relief package on "Vermont Edition."

Rep. Peter Welch answered some questions regarding the U.S. coronavirus relief package Wednesday on Vermont Edition. Here’s what he had to say about the package that has now been passed by the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate. 

Who does the extended unemployment insurance program cover?

The program covers traditional workers, as well as those who are self-employed or independent contractors for $600 per week for up to four months. Welch also said the state could provide additional unemployment insurance on top of what the federal government is providing. 

Will people who work off the books or who have been hired in the last six months be covered under this package?

Welch said the package does not currently include these employees, as the provisions are based on income from 2019. 

Will there be additional money available through food stamps?

There is more money going to nutritional programs for children and families as well as programs that support elderly Americans.

Is Congress working on a plan in the case that either the U.S. House of Representatives or the Senate become affected by COVID-19?

The main concern is the ability to vote, Welch said. There are rules in place that require members of Congress to be present when voting, and in order to change those rules, everyone still must be present to vote. Welch said there is a lot of apprehension in working out this problem. 

Should Vermonters still reach out to Rep. Peter Welch’s office?

“Absolutely!” he said. His office is prepared to take any call that comes in.

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