Texomans struggle as Washington decides on second round of COVID-19 relief

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WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — Millions of Americans were expecting to see an extra $600 in their bank accounts a few days after Christmas.

On Thursday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi attempted to bring a bill to the floor that would have increased the dollar amount of direct payments to Americans from $600 to $2000 under a stand-alone COVID-19 relief measure.

But a stalemate in Washington threatens the livelihoods of many Texomans.

Workers in Wichita Falls like Freddie Simmons said that he has had about enough.

“I have so many friends and family. So many people in my industry. That are suffering. Just through, not of their own fault, like it’s not their fault they can’t make money, it’s the government’s fault. It’s COVID’s fault,” Simmons said.

Reasons why he said a second round of COVID-19 aid from Congress is needed.

“If the mandate from the government shuts your job down. You need some kind of subsidy. You need help,” Simmons said.

A study done by Yelp.com in December shows that roughly 160,000 small businesses closed between April and September of this year, averaging out at around 800 business closures per day.

Restaurant manager Heath Hill said that his industry has been among the most hard hit.

“As a restaurant manager, I can tell you that even though we have brought back employees, there are less tables which means less tips,” Hill said.

He said a decrease in the number of people dining out is affecting his business.

A problem that is not only impacting small businesses locally, but also larger chains.

“I work for a bigger brand and they are to-go only and so a lot of the restaurants are hurting,” Hill said.

Reasons why many Texomans will take relief, in whatever form it comes.

“In the long run, I would just pay them all out and be strong for the future, and that’s about it,” Simmons said.

President Trump is threatening a veto because he said the $600 payments aren’t high enough and that the bill is too weighed down by foreign aid to allied countries.

Democrats in the House said they’ll try again on Monday, voting for a bill that includes $2000 checks to Americans.

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