The Democrats’ ostensible “coronavirus relief” bill has a new nickname courtesy of House GOP leaders like House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy.
Because of the way the exorbitant bill funnels the majority of $1.9 trillion into Democrat interests, McCarthy and crew have renamed it the Pelosi’s Payoff to Progressives Act.
“Simply put, this legislation is not about COVID relief. Over 90% of the bill is focused on enacting President Biden’s and Speaker Pelosi’s political priorities that will only hurt our recovery efforts, while just 9% of the bill actually includes spending related to combating the virus,” the House GOP’s press team announced Thursday.
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“There’s no question that this legislation is more about Democrats’ agenda than doing what’s right for the nation. The below chart from Leader McCarthy’s office tells the story.”
View that chart below:
This isn’t to say the bill contains nothing substantive.
“The Covid cash includes some $75 billion for vaccinations, treatments, testing and medical supplies. There’s also $19 billion for ‘public health,’ primarily for state health departments and community health centers. One might even count the $6 billion to the Indian Health Service, or $4 billion for mental health,” The Wall Street Journal‘s editorial board notes.
“The package also hands more to businesses and individuals most hit by lockdowns. That includes $7.2 billion more for the Paycheck Protection Program, $15 billion for economic injury disaster loans, $26 billion for restaurants, bars and live venues, and $15 billion in payroll support for airlines. The recipients of this taxpayer money will at least be required to prove economic harm, and in some cases repay loans.”
There’s also $413 billion for $1,400 stimulus checks, bringing the total to $825 billion.
The problem is that the majority of the bill, i.e, the remaining $1.1 trillion, is “a combination of bailouts for Democratic constituencies, expansions of progressive programs, pork, and unrelated policy changes,” according to the Journal, which describes it as a “non-COVID spending blowout.”
It includes the following:
- $100 million for a controversial subway sought by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s allies in Silicon Valley,
- $1.5 million for a bridge in New York sought by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer,
- $350 billion to bail out mainly badly run Democrat states and cities,
- $85 billion to fund badly run Democrat pension schemes,
- $35 billion to fund ObamaCare subsidies,
- $15 billion to expand Medicaid,
- $500 million in grants “to fund activities related to the arts, humanities, libraries and museums,”
- $1 billion for world food assistance,
- $3.5 billion for food stamps,
Note that the list above doesn’t even include everything.
The bill also pays over $100 billion to already-funded schools.
“The CBO notes that since Congress already provided some $113 billion for schools—and as ‘most of those funds remain to be spent’—it expects that 95% of this new money will be spent from 2022 through 2028. That is, when the pandemic is over,” according to the Journal.
There’s even a $15 minimum wage requirement hidden in the bill, according to Reps. Jasin Smith and James Comer.
“There is a $15 Washington mandate that would make life harder for low-wage, disabled and less-educated workers. It would increase the cost of living – particularly damaging for seniors and others living on fixed incomes – and, according to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, comes at the expense of 1.4 million jobs,” they wrote in a piece for Fox News.
Democrats have reportedly been pursuing all this on partisan terms.
“There was no attempt from the President or Democrats to work with Republicans on commonsense legislation that was temporary, targeted, and tied to COVID,” the House GOP’s Press Team noted.
“Throughout the committee process, Democrats rejected 243/245 (99.1%) of amendments offered by Republicans, and have made clear that they are more concerned with rushing this bill through the House instead of working in a surgical way to craft legislation that focuses on defeating the virus.”
Concluding their own piece, the Journal’s editorial board writes, “No wonder Democrats want to pass all this on a partisan vote. It’s a progressive blowout for the ages that does little for the economy but will finance Democratic interest groups for years. Please don’t call it Covid relief.”