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Direct Relief for Pennsylvanians: Here’s Where It Stands

Gov. Tom Wolf has advocated for the Republican-led General Assembly to pass legislation that would send $2,000 stimulus checks to Pennsylvanians, but his plans have reportedly stalled after months of pushing for direct payments.

Back in February, the governor proposed a $1.7 billion budget. Direct payments to many Pennsylvanians earning $80,000 or less were part of the proposal.

Republicans, on the other hand, are simply sitting on the funds for the American Rescue Plan.

“I’m talking about $2 billion sitting in a checking account in Harrisburg that we have to send back to Washington if we don’t use it by the end of 2024.”

Do you want to do that? “I don’t,” Wolf recently stated, while also acknowledging that the payments would help with rising inflation, as CBS Pittsburgh reported in June.

READ MORE: Stimulus check update: Gov. Tom Wolf continues to press lawmakers to send $2,000 direct payments to Pennsylvanians.

According to The Morning Call, Republicans have been largely opposed to the proposal, even after the House and Senate introduced House Bill 2531 and Senate Bill 1204 in support of Wolf’s proposal.


According to Jason Gottesman, a House Republican spokesman, more direct relief would worsen inflation.

“This is the same bad policy coming from another Democrat to artificially prop up the economy that’s led to the same inflation problems that we’ve seen across the country,” Gottesman told FOX43, adding that the state’s economy needs to change.

“We need to make sure that we are spending in strategic areas and making smarter investments in Pennsylvania,” he added. “We need to make sure that money is saved to deal with future economic uncertainties and that taxpayer money is returned to the commonwealth.”

However, Wolf previously stated in a statement that the state budget should be able to assist Pennsylvanians in their financial struggles rather than sitting on the $2.2 billion.

“Pennsylvanians should not have to choose between paying for utilities or groceries, childcare or gas.” We have the opportunity and the means to ensure their success.

I’m asking the General Assembly to work across the aisle on this for the sake of every Pennsylvanian — because when they succeed, our state succeeds. “Let’s get this money out of our coffers and into the pockets of Pennsylvanians,” Wolf said.

Wolf went on to say, “The program aims to help families still recovering economically from the COVID-19 pandemic or support them with covering pandemic-related costs and managing the current, ever-increasing cost of living.”

Wolf’s press secretary, Elizabeth Rementer, said the governor is “disappointed” in the Republican-led General Assembly for not pushing the plan.

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“Recognizing that people are hurting and need help now, the government introduced this proposal in February as a way to provide Pennsylvanians with immediate relief using some of our remaining federal American Rescue Plan Act dollars,” Rementer recently stated. “Unfortunately, the Republicans did not move on this concept, and it was not included in the final budget.”

The governor is pleased with this year’s budget but disappointed that the Republican-led Legislature did not advance his proposal.”

However, Rementer stated that the fight for stimulus funds is not over and that Democrats will continue to push.

“He is going to keep fighting for it because, again, Pennsylvanians need help, and there is still time in this legislative session,” Rementer said, without providing any additional details on Wolf’s plan to push his proposal for stimulus checks, among other programs.

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