LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – When Congress passed a second COVID-19 stimulus over the weekend Essence Thomas from Prescott had big plans since she will be attending college soon.

“I can go buy some clothes, you know. You got to play the part in college,” Thomas said. “So this big transition from high school to college. So you got to go get your college fit.”

 She also thinks there can be a better way to help the economy but not sure what.

“I feel like it’s something else, maybe we haven’t found it yet, but they should be like more patient than just giving money out and thinking it’s going to save lives like this,” Thomas said.

State lawmakers also weighed in on the stimulus package. State Representative Fredrick Love thinks this relief bill is a good place to start as more should be done.

“It’s a nice start,” Love said. “I mean families are hurting and so this this relief will actually do families some good but I will tell you it’s not nearly enough.”

State Senator Jason Rapert was glad the relief bill got passed but did not agree with it being passed in conjunction with the omnibus spending bill. He mainly objected to some of the spending in that bill that he thinks should have gone into the relief bill instead.

“Why would they spend $700 million in Sudan when we can’t even get things fixed here in Arkansas that are looking for attention and need dollars?” he asked.

Rapert says he has lobbied for the Arkansas delegation to reel in spending on certain things and focus on the United States’ needs.

“The thing I would rather they have canceled all of the foreign spending in the government budget and put that money towards Americans. Put that towards helping people,” he explained. “That only is restaurants that only businesses that have been shut down put Americans first. You know that would be nice for a change.”

Love applauds Congress for getting something out of the door to people but he does not think the $600 payment will be enough to jump start the economy the way some would like.

“I mean yeah, paying your bills, that’s fine. But that’s not really the stimulation that we need,” he said. “We need to spend it in the grocery stores and in the restaurants and different things like that. It’s not going to make the impact that we really want to to get this economy stimulated. I don’t think it’s enough, but you know, every little every little bit helps.”

Rapert echoed that sentiment in regards to the extension of an extra $300 in unemployment benefits for 11 weeks.

“I don’t fault any spending that we’re trying to put in place to help people that are in crisis and some people may dismiss how much it is,” he said. “Ask somebody that is in trouble and they need funds to keep their household afloat if $300 is enough. That’s a utility bill in many cases.”

Love feels like more can be done at the national level overall.

“I think we need to do a lot more because America can do that. I mean, we are the greatest nation on Earth,” he said. “We can do this and we can get through it. But we need help and we need to help those that that that need it right now.”

One thing that concerns Rapert is the ever-increasing national debt. It’s also something that Thomas says will catch up with the country eventually.

“I do feel like it is. It’s just it’s going to come back and hit us some way,” she said. “I don’t know whether what it’s going to be, but I feel like it’s we’re getting this now, but I feel like it’s going to come around and be hit us in the long run.”