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TOPEKA — U.S. Sens. Pat Roberts and Jerry Moran joined Senate colleagues for unanimous approval of a blockbuster $2 trillion coronavirus aid package expanding jobless benefits, making cash payments to individuals and delivering financial support to industries undercut by the pandemic.


The legislation embraced Wednesday night by the two Kansas Republicans moved to the U.S. House for a vote Friday. It’s the third large piece of legislation developed in response to spread of deadly COVID-19.


Roberts, who announced a year ago he wouldn’t seek re-election in 2020, said the bill was one of the most powerful economic relief packages in U.S. history.


"The bill that passed the Senate today represents ideas from both sides of the political aisle, but with a shared purpose: to deliver a necessary financial bridge to American households, workers, and businesses through the economic shock from COVID-19," Roberts said.


The legislation would provide $1,200 to most adults, $350 billion in loans to small companies, $150 billion for hospitals, research, treatment and equipment, $150 billion to state and local governments, $33 billion to agriculture, $10 billion to airports and $450 million to food banks.


Moran, a Kansas Republican, said the bill included many provisions he wouldn’t support under ordinary circumstances.


"But hospitals need supplies, small businesses need loans, farmers and ranchers need certainty and folks who are out of work, through no fault of their own, need relief," he said.


Moran said he was pleased the legislation earmarked billions of dollars for the aviation industry, supported community banks and bolstered broadband investment to meet economic and education demand.


U.S. Rep. Roger Marshall, of the 1st District, said the legislation would deliver much-needed relief for workers and their families, small business owners and health workers on the front line. He was critical of Democrats, especially House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, for delaying action on the bill by four days to continue negotiations with Republicans.


"Cases in Kansas doubled during that four days. U.S. cases increased by 38,000 and 500 Americans died over that period," Marshall said.