WACO — More than two millions Texans have filed for unemployment since the starts of the pandemic.
And while federal stimulus checks and small business loans were supposed to help Central Texans get by before they could return to work, Republican Sen. John Cornyn says it’s clear that hasn’t been the case for everyone.
“When you do something this big and this fast, you’re going to make mistakes. Indeed, we’ve been trying to correct those & there’s more work we need to do,” said Cornyn.
The longtime senator spoke with 25 News via ZOOM this week. The Senate is finally back in session, and Cornyn is trying to help funnel COVID-19 relief funds to his home state.
“Were trying to alleviate some of the economic pressure for people that have no paycheck coming in through no fault of their own,” he said.
Last week, his office announced $1.7 million in federal dollars to help public housing and Section 8 voucher programs in Killeen, Temple, Waco and other local cities.
He’s also encouraging small business owners to apply for the second wave of PPP small business loans, while acknowledging even that $340 billion is going fast.
“It’ll probably be gone in another couple of weeks,” he said.
Talk in Washington D.C. suggests Democrats may push for another round of direct stimulus checks, perhaps as much as another $2,000 for some U.S. households.
“It’s possible [but] that was really viewed as a one-time emergency payment,” said Cornyn.
When asked about Gov. Greg Abbott’s reopening plans, which have come under some scrutiny as COVID-19 cases surge in urban areas, Cornyn defended the governor's approach.
“I support his gradual reopening. Frankly, we can’t stay hunkered down under our desk forever. We need to be smart and follow guidelines,” said Cornyn.
Those include social distancing, facial coverings when necessary, and continuing to protect seniors and those with underlying health conditions.
Cornyn is also hopeful that a vaccine can be developed this year.