NC Rep. Mark Walker says he was possibly exposed to COVID-19

North Carolina news

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — When legislators convene to vote on a near $1 trillion stimulus relief bill, U.S. Representative Mark Walker (R-NC) says he will not be present due to exposure to COVID-19.

On Sunday, Congressional leaders delivered long-overdue help to businesses and individuals and providing money to deliver vaccines to a nation eager for them.

The agreement, announced by Senate leaders, would establish a temporary $300 per week supplemental jobless benefits and $600 direct stimulus payments to most Americans, along with a new round of subsidies for hard-hit businesses and money for schools, health care providers, and renters facing eviction.

Walker said in a statement that “After being informed of a possible exposure to COVID-19, I have decided out of precaution to not travel by air to Washington this evening.”

He did, however make a statement regarding the latest stimulus agreement:

“However, I want to make sure the record is clear: As millions of Americans and their businesses suffer from a generational pandemic, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has repeatedly negotiated against their interests and held up aid for critical months. The result of her grandstanding and partisanship is a ‘too little, too late’ $600 check hidden within a thousand-page bill Congress has been asked to blindly pass without review. Thus, producing a bill that is flawed in both its content as well as its process. Given its impact, I can’t in good faith vote for legislation of this magnitude without first thoroughly examining its contents and how it affects North Carolinians and their futures. The text of this bill was released at 2pm. Speaker Pelosi won’t read it and much of her caucus will pass it by texting their vote in.”

Rep. Mark Walker

The final agreement is the largest spending measure yet. It combines COVID-19 relief with a $1.4 trillion government-wide funding plan and lots of other unrelated measures on taxes, health, infrastructure and education.

Passage is nearing as coronavirus cases and deaths spike and evidence piles up that the economy is struggling.

Late-breaking decisions would limit the $300 per week bonus jobless benefits — one half the supplemental federal unemployment benefit provided under the CARES Act in March — to 10 weeks instead of 16 weeks as before. The direct $600 stimulus payment to most people is also half the March payment, subject to the same income limits in which an individual’s payment begins to phase out after $75,000.

President Donald Trump is supportive, particularly of the push for providing more direct payments. “GET IT DONE,” he said in a tweet late Saturday.

It would be the first significant legislative response to the pandemic since the $1.8 trillion CARES Act passed virtually unanimously in March.

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