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La Crosse’s Kind talks COVID stimulus, including “three-martini lunch” vs. $1,200 checks



Dusk falls over the Capitol, Monday, Dec. 21, 2020, in Washington. Congressional leaders have hashed out a massive, year-end catchall bill that combines $900 billion in COVID-19 aid with a $1.4 trillion spending bill and reams of other unfinished legislation on taxes, energy, education and health care. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

A $900 billion stimulus package passed Monday night in Congress that includes $600 checks to Americans, and $300 unemployment benefits.


But those checks are half the amount that was passed during the first stimulus package back in March.

Congressman Ron Kind of La Crosse called into WIZM for a few minutes yesterday, before debate on the House floor continued. The Democrat representing Wisconsin’s 3rd District discussed some of the ridiculous things that were being argued about within the stimulus package.

“I personally don’t think it’s enough,” Kind said Monday on La Crosse Talk PM of the stimulus package. “I mean, why are we even negotiating $1,200 to $600 rebate checks, while at the same time there’s complete tax deductibility for the ‘three martini lunch’ over the next two years?

“Those are some of the choices that had to be made.”

The “three martini lunch” is essentially a 100% tax break for corporate meal expenses that was pushed for by Republicans.

While House Reps. Kind, and Republican Jim Hagedorn, representing Minnesota’s 1st District, voted for the bill, Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson was one of only six senators to vote against it.

Last week, Johnson twice voted down $1,200 stimulus checks to Americans, arguing the deficit is too great.

Monday night’s legislation passed in conjunction with a $1.4 trillion government spending bill for the next year.

“This took too long and is probably too limited,” Kind said of the stimulus. “But, hopefully, it won’t be too ineffective. I think it’s the right thing to do, passing COVID relief, given the amount of pain and suffering, and the difficulties that we’re still facing with this pandemic.”

Kind also noted the timing for the Senate to come to the table and begin discussing a stimulus was peculiar, since the House passed the CARES Act back in May, and revised that package in October.

“I think Mitch McConnell, in a moment of un-guardedness, admitted that there was political motivation with Georgia’s specials coming up in a couple weeks,” Kind said of the Georgia Senate runoff elections on Jan. 5. “And that’s why they suddenly came to the negotiating table, because of all the feedback his Senate candidates were receiving down in Georgia.”

Host of WIZM's La Crosse Talk PM | University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point graduate | Hometown: Greenville, Wis | Avid noonball basketball player and sand volleyballer in La Crosse

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1 Comment

  1. Ronald Walker

    December 23, 2020 at 8:27 am

    Both political parties should be ashamed of themselves. People are suffering, small businesses are failing and the future seems uncertain. These issues have been going on for months and yet no relief bill because no one wants to compromise. Well, 40 million dollars to the Kennedy Center? They received millions with the first relief package.10 million dollars to Pakistan for Gender Programs? Funds for Statue Gender Study?
    What do these three items have to do with helping suffering Americans?
    Why are citizens not standing outside the capitol with torches asking why the politicians on both side of the isle are getting paid while arguing about how to spend our tax dollars on issues that don’t help Americans who are suffering. Perhaps if Mr. Kind would have argued against these 3 issues, the relief checks could be increased to $1200 per person. When is America going to wake up and realize politicians always get paid, have great benefits and seem to drag their feet on getting relief to the American public while playing games in order to get their pet projects funded.

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