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Rep. John Katko Fully Supports Federal Stimulus Bill, Highlights Help for CNY

Scott Willis

Syracuse-area Congress Member John Katko fully supports the stimulus bill heading to the house.  He shared some of the details he believes will help Central New York, including more than 300 Billion dollars for small business loans.  Katko says there will be very little paperwork, and if used for essential costs, a business won’t have to pay them back.

“The banks issue the.  They get them to the small business and the small businesses can use the loans to pay rent, utilities, health insurance, and the salaries of individuals and some other things as well.  And if they do it for those reasons, the loan will be forgiven.” 


Katko specifically advocated for personal protective equipment in hospitals and help with their bottom lines.  He says he had numerous conversations with Senator Kirsten Gillibrand to try and get help.

“I credit her and I credit Senator Schumer with listening because one of the things I really pounded with them was the critical nature of the hospitals in our Central New York area.  And they responded because they added some things in the Senate bill that I think that really reflected out conversations.”

He also likes portions of the bill that help Central New York communities with homelessness, airports, tribal communities, child nutrition and funds for municipalities.  If the pandemic doesn’t cripple the country too long, he believes this bill will jump start the economy fairly quickly.  After hearing from a number of house colleagues, he’s confident the bill will pass in rapid fashion. 

He explains there are differences in the overall economy as we headed into this crisis, compared to the 2008 recession.

“The biggest difference between this economy and 2008 was There was no  liquidity in the market because there were so many mistakes made by banks and financial institutions, and we don’t have that.  Financial institutions were very strong before this crisis and as long as we prevent a liquidity crisis, I think we’re going to be good.  And that’s the main idea behind this (bill).”

One more aspect of that is the direct aid to individuals.  Unemployment support in the bill can replace the entire paycheck of those out of work.  The $1200 payment to individuals will also help bridge the gap .. and Katko says it will not have any tax implications.  After hearing from a number of house colleagues, he’s confident the bill will pass quickly. 

Chris Bolt, Ed.D. has proudly been covering the Central New York community and mentoring students for more than 30 years. His career in public media started as a student volunteer, then as a reporter/producer. He has been the news director for WAER since 1995. Dedicated to keeping local news coverage alive, Chris also has a passion for education, having trained, mentored and provided a platform for growth to more than a thousand students. Career highlights include having work appear on NPR, CBS, ABC and other news networks, winning numerous local and state journalism awards.