Early Saturday morning, the House passed the Democratic COVID-19 spending bill requested by President Joe Biden. Republican members of Alabama’s congressional delegation all opposed the American Rescue Plan — H.R. 1319 – which will cost $2 trillion, saying the relief bill will add to a growing national debt.
Congressman Mo Brooks, R-Alabama, said:
“This bill is nothing more than a debt junkie and Socialist ‘wish list’ of feel-good, short-sighted, do-nothing borrowing and spending that hastens America’s inevitable and dangerous insolvency and bankruptcy while doing little to address the actual COVID19 challenges American families face. This bill spends many billions paying Americans not to work at a time when employers are struggling to find workers and Americans should be returning to the jobs that instill pride and self-sufficiency. Perhaps worse yet, Chuck Schumer gets $1.5 million in pork for a bridge from New York to Canada while Nancy Pelosi gets $112 million in pork for a subway from her city of San Francisco to Silicon Valley. These pet projects and pork spending have zero, nada, zilch to do with the COVID19 pandemic.
“I cannot in good conscience sacrifice America’s future on the altar of debt addiction that Washington glorifies,” Brooks continued. “Nor will I, with my vote, increase America’s debt by $2 trillion without substantively addressing real COVID19 problems. Neither I nor the Tennessee Valley citizens I represent want any part of a debilitating national insolvency and bankruptcy that this COVID19 ‘stimulus’ con job hastens.”
Congressman Robert Aderholt, R-Alabama, said:
“President Biden and Democrat leadership created a massive $1.9 trillion spending bill, calling it ‘COVID-19 Relief.’ To be clear, this spending bill is a far cry from being actual financial relief related to COVID. When you break down the figures, it is roughly $1 trillion that goes toward liberal wish list items rather than areas that could actually use help.”
Congressman Mike Rogers, R-Alabama, said:
“It’s a disgrace that this bill would even be brought to the House floor. Currently, $1 trillion in COVID-19 relief funding has yet to be spent. This bill is a wolf in sheep’s clothing — extreme socialist initiatives falsely proposed as COVID relief. Less than 9 percent of the funding in this bill is allocated towards public health spending. The Biden administration is so focused on taking credit for the Trump administration’s ‘Project Warp Speed’ that they have lost sight of the mission — adequately distributing the Trump vaccine and stopping the spread of the virus. It’s pathetic and emblematic of what’s wrong with Washington.
“The almost $2 trillion bill does little to help open K-12 schools, will discourage individuals from getting back to work and does hardly anything to help Americans,” Rogers said. “What it does do is fund abortions with taxpayer dollars, threaten business owners with a minimum wage hike and bail out Democrat-led states who can’t spend their tax dollars wisely. I am disappointed in my Democrat colleagues and call on Speaker Pelosi to get serious about helping Americans instead of pandering to the progressives in her party. Americans deserve better.”
Congressman Gary Palmer, R-Alabama, said:
“This is not about COVID relief, but about the Democrat agenda. It’s packed with partisan priorities, like bailouts for state governments that were poorly run even before the pandemic, stimulus checks for federal employees to stay home and not work, and funding for a bridge from New York to Canada. Republicans have consistently demonstrated the willingness to work across the aisle and pass serious COVID relief. If this current bill were about COVID relief, Democrats would not have rejected Republican amendments to provide $5 billion to assist with vaccinations in rural areas or to help small businesses with new health safety measures.
“Billions of dollars from this bill would also not even be spent during this fiscal year, including much of the funding set aside for schools,” Palmer stated. “That means that the bill also discourages schools from reopening while children are still struggling with severe mental and physical health issues after not having been in their classrooms for a year. This stimulus bill is also a repeat of the failed stimulus passed in 2009 under President Obama and then Vice President Biden. Unemployment rose and household income fell, and we can expect the same thing to happen again if this bill passes. Our economy is still in recovery mode, and this package would hinder, not help, that process.”
Congressman Jerry Carl, R-Alabama, said:
“Today, I voted against the Democrats’ so-called COVID relief bill because it has almost nothing to do with actual COVID relief and is nothing more than a liberal wish list of special interest pork, including bailouts for cities and states who used lockdowns for political purposes. COVID relief should be temporary, targeted, and related to COVID, but unfortunately, this bill largely ignores hardworking Americans who need relief. I support targeted COVID relief going directly to get students back in the classroom, getting folks back to work, and getting vaccines to all who want them, but I cannot support Democrats’ efforts to push through irresponsible, big-government spending programs in the name of COVID relief.”
Congressman Barry Moore, R-Alabama, said:
“Last night, Democrats rejected a Republican amendment to redirect the $140 million carveout in the COVID ‘relief’ package for Speaker Pelosi’s Silicon Valley subway project and send it to mental health programs for students who are suffering from pandemic lockdowns. Think about that for a moment. We had the opportunity to remove partisan pork and effectively use the money to help students facing depression and anxiety after months of e-learning. Apparently California pet projects are more important.
“Democrats and the media want you to believe this is a popular spending bill that is desperately needed to combat the coronavirus,” Moore said. “But the truth is, only 9% actually goes to public health spending. This is nothing but a progressive Christmas wishlist packaged as COVID relief. What a slap in the face to the American people.”
H.R. 1319 passed the Democratic-controlled House but faces a more difficult pathway in the Senate.