“It’s not fighting COVID because only 9% of this bill goes towards COVID…
“Think for a moment, this is where the problem lies. We’ve done five [bipartisan] COVID bills, this is the first one that the Democrats just want to do by themselves.
“And to get the votes what are they doing? They’re putting in a special project for Nancy Pelosi — $100 million for a Silicon Valley rail project — and a bridge for Schumer.
“We’re watching the money that’s going for schools — 95% of it won’t be spent this year [to help] schools open. You’ve got $60 billion sitting there for schools appropriated already.
“A lot in this bill is a waste, a wishlist from the progressives. That’s why they’re going to have difficulty making sure all Democrats vote for it.
“Is this going to do more damage to America? Putting that much money out there at a time when it’s not smart… to do it?
“… three things we need to do are, back to work, back to school, and back to health. And so, I would spend more money on COVID, [and] I wouldn’t reward states [that want to stay locked down]…
“I would give incentives to open up schools. I would give incentives for COVID vaccines… [and] I would give incentives that get this country working again.
“And I would be more surgical [about it], because when they just put out these checks there’s going to be people that have higher incomes that are receiving them [while] those who really need it are not.
“And to go back on small businesses that have been hurt the worst through all of this — to raise a minimum wage that isn’t based on locality is only going to do more damage and [cause] more job losses.
“We know what happened in Seattle… they lost jobs when they raised [the minimum wage]. We watched in Long Beach, two grocery stores closed once they [gave employees] four more dollars for working during the pandemic.
“This is an economic problem that is going to hurt the lowest income [Americans] and this is going to hurt those who need it the most.”