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The American economy has enjoyed six straight years of uninterrupted growth. But recently, that growth appears to be slowing. In my travels across Kentucky, I've met many families who are uncertain about their economic future, and I felt Congress had to act.
I'm glad to report that we did by passing a bipartisan economic-growth package that will act as a "booster shot" for our economy by providing fast tax relief to American taxpayers.
As U.S. Senate Republican Leader, I have long urged both Republicans and Democrats to work together to tackle the problems our country faces. This economic-growth package presented a perfect opportunity to demonstrate how we can do so.
It was important for Congress to act quickly, and both parties put partisanship aside to get this legislation to the President's desk. Passing this economic-growth package was not a victory for Republicans or Democrats. It was a victory for the American people.
The law will put more money back into the pockets of taxpayers through tax rebates of up to $600 for eligible individuals and $1,200 for eligible couples. Families with children will receive additional rebates of $300 for each child. In addition, the law includes tax incentives encouraging businesses to invest and create new jobs.
As the Senate considered this economic-growth legislation, I felt it was important to not leave low-income seniors, disabled veterans or the widows of disabled veterans out. So I led the effort to pass an amendment to the bill that designated Social Security payments and VA disability payments as qualifying income. That ensures seniors, disabled veterans and the widows of disabled veterans will receive rebate checks.
My amendment also took steps to make illegal immigrants ineligible to receive rebate checks, because our government should not reward those who broke the law to get into our country.
Thanks to this economic-growth package, 1.8 million Kentucky families will receive rebate checks later this year. The rebate checks sent to Kentucky will total $1.6 billion in the hands of the commonwealth's taxpayers, who will spend it and reinvest it back into our economy.
After the Senate passed the economic-growth package, with my amendment, the President signed it into law on Feb. 13. It will have a significant impact, by injecting $152 billion back into our economy.
And we proved that both parties can work together quickly and decisively on behalf of the American people. I'm hopeful that Republicans and Democrats can continue to work together in the months ahead to keep our country moving forward.
u U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell is the Senate Republican Leader.