U.S. Representative for Alabama’s 4th congressional district Robert Aderholt (R-Haleyville) spoke with the members of the Albertville Rotary Club on a video conference Tuesday about the stimulus packages passed by congress to help aid businesses and individuals during the novel coronavirus pandemic shut downs.
“That was a two trillion dollar plus package,” Aderholt said. “It was something that going into this session early this year we had no idea that we would do this. It was all put together very quickly, and quite honestly it was really a really good piece of legislation.
“I know there were a lot of heartaches initially with getting that legislation into place and anytime you get a piece of legislation that is of that magnitude, it’s going to have its problems,” he continued. “So, I don’t say that it was without problems, and I’m not saying that was perfect. But I will say at the time it was a good piece of legislation, and I think it was very beneficial.”
Aderholt said the stimulus bill, known as the CARES Act, had two main components: the Payment Protection Program (PPP) and the Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL).
“The great thing about [PPP] was that, through no fault of their own because the businesses were required to shut their doors, they were able to keep their employees in place,” he said. “It was used for payroll costs. It was used for mortgage interest, rent [and] utilities. That can ultimately be forgiven; that loan will not have to be back. So, in my opinion that has saved a lot of businesses especially small businesses across the United States and of course in Alabama.”
The EIDL program allowed businesses to apply for up to $150,000, which will have to be paid back at a low interest rate, he said.
“Both of those I think were very productive,” Aderholt said. “I thought they were good pieces of legislation… Again, there were some rough starts … but overall I think it’s been very productive and been very helpful.”
He said he hopes to pass more stimulus legislation in the near future to help those businesses that may have fallen through the cracks on the first go around. However, he said he wouldn’t be for passing one as large as the $2 trillion stimulus bill.
“I don’t want us to do one that big [again] because we don’t need to but there may be some areas and some businesses and make sure our economy stays as good as it can under the circumstances,” Aderholt said.