by WorldTribune Staff, February 25, 2021
Indiana Republican Rep. Jim Banks offered a fitting example of the Democrat Party’s priorities when it comes to coronavirus relief.
“Nancy Pelosi plugged in a $200 million earmark for an underground tunnel in San Francisco for Silicon Valley employees,” Banks said.
The $1.9 trillion covid relief package is nothing more than “a bailout to the special interest groups” that gave Democrats power, Banks said.
Rep. Jason Smith of Missouri, who serves as the Republican Leader of the House Budget Committee, said that the covid relief package does little for actual covid relief. Instead, it is a “wish list” for leftists.
“It’s very simple … Pelosi, Schumer, and Biden decided to use a pandemic to push forward a progressive wish list; items to reward political allies, friends, and donors at the expense of the American working class,” Smith said.
Smith noted that less than 9 percent of the $1.9 trillion is allocated for covid health spending and only 5 percent is marked to fund the extra needs at schools amid the pandemic.
“Why is it that this package spends more than 25 percent, according to the Congressional Budget Office, on items that kill millions of jobs,” he added.
The Republican Study Committee (RSC), the largest conservative caucus on Capitol Hill, released a fact-sheet on items “Democrats are hoping the public won’t find out about” that are included in the so-called “American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.”
The fact sheet notes:
• Job killing: New federally mandated minimum wage would result in 1.4 million jobs lost, with younger Americans with less formal education being hardest hit.
• Pro-abortion: The Democrats’ bill maintains the ability for Planned Parenthood to receive Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funds.
• Illegal immigration: Stimulus checks could go to families where a parent is an illegal immigrant.
• Keeping schools closed: Provides $130 billion on top of the $110 billion already given to schools, even if they remain closed. Students, in particular at-risk and low-income students, face lifelong consequences of these closures. Unconscionably gives labor unions—including those teachers unions fighting against school reopening—access to PPP funding worth up to $10 million per union. Provides no opportunities for families to receive education funding intended for a student, if the student is not being served by their school districts.
• Soft on China: Allows funding to go to colleges that have partnerships with companies that are owned or controlled by the Chinese Communist Party. Democrats rejected a GOP amendment to fix this. Allows funding to go to colleges and universities that have partnerships with Confucius Institutes.
• Budget-busting spending: Provides an additional $1.5 billion to Amtrak, which is already sitting on roughly $1 billion of unspent aid. Provides $30 billion for transit grants, available through FY 2024, of which $26 billion (87 percent) would go to urban area transit entities. Provides a $350 billion bailout for state and local governments despite limited declines in overall revenue last year. Such funding effectively subsidizes unwarranted shutdowns that kills businesses and livelihoods.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said Democrats essentially shut Republicans out of the process on the covid relief bill.
“Republicans offered 286 amendments” to the bill, McCarthy said. “Democrats accepted 2 of them. So much for Biden’s calls for ‘unity.’ ”
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said that “Only about 1 percent of the Democrats’ partisan plan goes to vaccines. Only about 5 percent of its K-12 funding would even go out this fiscal year. Democrats are not addressing the urgent needs of a re-opening America. They started with a preconceived liberal wish-list and worked backward.”