Even though there is $1 trillion in unspent COVID relief funds (from legislation that was passed in an overwhelmingly bipartisan fashion), House Democrats continue to push for a massive, partisan bill.
Democrats ignore the fact that these resources have not taken effect yet because their reconciliation plan is not about COVID or getting America back on track; it’s about enacting liberal policy goals that they’ve wanted for years. Their one-party approach also means they have continued to reject practical Republican ideas throughout the amendment process.
Here are some of the GOP-led proposals rejected yesterday by Democrats.
Helping People Get Back To Work:
- An amendment to provide additional funding to VA’s VET TEC (Veteran Employment Through Technology Education Courses) program that provides veterans training to help them succeed in the technology sector. VET TEC participants make an average of more than $62,000 a year. Democrats on the VA Committee voted against it.
- Click HERE or the image below to watch Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks’ (IA-02) remarks in support of her amendment.
.@RepMMM pushed for additional funding for the VA's VET TEC program that provides veterans training to help them succeed in the technology sector.
But Democrats voted against it. pic.twitter.com/YiMHAcHrW2
— Mark Bednar (@MarkBednar) February 11, 2021
- An amendment to allow states to use unemployment insurance funding for back-to-work bonuses. Democrats on the Ways & Means Committee voted against it.
- An amendment that would provide support for businesses to put into place the resources necessary to reopen safely. Democrats on the Ways & Means Committee voted against it.
Focusing On Vaccines To Reopen The Economy:
- An amendment to increase vaccinations to 200 million in President Biden’s first 100 days in office (two million people per day). Due to Operation Warp Speed and other efforts of the Trump Administration, the United States is now vaccinating over 1.5 million a day. Democrats on the Energy & Commerce Committee voted against it.
- Click HERE or the image below to watch Whip Steve Scalise’s (LA-01) remarks in support of his amendment.
Biden wants you to think he wasn't left a plan.
Here's the reality: He walked into two vaccines already being delivered at a pace to meet "his goal" of 100 million in 100 days.
I'm calling on him to create a plan to do 200 million in 100 days—he's halfway there thanks to Trump. pic.twitter.com/W1n6IAwrJS
— Steve Scalise (@SteveScalise) February 11, 2021
- An amendment to increase funding for vaccinating veterans in highly rural areas, tribal areas, and in the U.S. territories. Democrats on the VA Committee voted against it.
- An amendment to require the Government Accountability Office to conduct a review of VA’s vaccination efforts. Democrats on the VA Committee voted against it.
Helping Kids Get Back In School:
- Amendment would allow families to use 529 savings accounts for K-12 tuition, books and instructional materials, tutoring expenses, fees for exams related to college admissions, and education therapy for students with disabilities. Democrats on the Ways & Means Committee voted against it.
Targeting Relief To Those Who Really Need It:
- An amendment that would target federal cash assistance to only those workers who have been severely harmed from the pandemic. Democrats on the Ways & Means Committee voted against it.
Putting Americans’ Needs First:
- An amendment that would ensure that those people here illegally do not get vaccines before Americans and all individuals who are lawfully present in the United States. Democrats on the Energy & Commerce Committee voted against it.
- Click HERE or the image below to watch Rep. Jeff Duncan’s (SC-03) remarks in support of his amendment.
"American doctors, hospital workers, firefighters, law enforcement professionals, teachers, senior citizens…, citizens with pre-existing conditions… should be prioritized to get the vaccine." pic.twitter.com/YSE1PSlONX
— Mark Bednar (@MarkBednar) February 12, 2021
- An amendment to prevent COBRA subsidies provided in the bill from flowing to individuals present in the United States illegally. Democrats on the Ways & Means Committee voted against it.
Protecting Americans’ Tax Dollars:
- An amendment that would return unspent funds appropriated by the bill to the Treasury six months after the president declares an end of the COVID-19 public health emergency; Democrats continue to refuse to ensure that funds are spent now when they are needed on actual COVID expenses, rather than slow-walked by the bureaucracy and wasted on wish-list items that have nothing to do with this pandemic. Democrats on the Financial Services Committee voted against it.
- An amendment that puts guardrails in place by ensuring information submitted for rental/homeowner assistance in the bill is accurate, and makes sure no individual is punished for an inadvertent mistake made by someone else or due to a language barrier. Democrats on the Financial Services Committee voted against it.
Protecting Our Medical Supply Chain:
- An amendment to prioritize unused funds appropriated under the Defense Production Act for rebuilding the Strategic National Stockpile, improving the United States’ supply chain resilience for medical supplies, and supporting the distribution of vaccines to poor countries. Democrats on the Financial Services Committee voted against it.
Supporting Bipartisan Tradition Of Hyde Amendment:
- An amendment to subject the Democrats’ bill to the Hyde Amendment. Since 1976 Congress has adopted the Hyde amendment to prevent federal government funding of abortion. Democrats on the Energy & Commerce Committee voted against it.
Standing Up To China & BDS Movement:
- An amendment to put a necessary protection in place by ensuring that these funds may not go to an employer that is found to have discriminated against an employee based on the employee’s viewpoints on the Chinese Communist Party or BDS. Democrats on the Financial Services Committee voted against it.
Leader McCarthy released the following statement regarding Democrats’ misguided priorities:
“Throughout this mark-up process, there should have been an opportunity to find common ground. We all serve constituents who in some capacity have been affected by the pandemic, and we should be able to work together as their representatives in Congress to address the urgent needs of America’s citizens.
“We also know that the best ‘stimulus’ plan is to fully reopen our economy. That is why House Republicans have offered amendment after amendment that will help us safely reopen by focusing on three main priorities: help get people back to work, kids back to school, and the vaccine to those who want it. Yesterday Republican members introduced bills that would reinforce vaccine distribution goals, target relief to individuals struggling the most, and help families access resources to help pay for their children’s education. House Democrats voted against every one of these measures.
“If we are going to get serious about getting America past the final phase of this pandemic, then we have to apply taxpayer funds effectively, and not just throw away their hard-earned dollars on an unrelated partisan agenda.”
Look-ahead to problematic policies in today’s committee markups:
House Oversight & Reform Committee:
Democrats want to reward locked-down and poorly managed liberal states with a $350 billion bailout.
- Democrats are seeking to provide a $350 billion bailout to state and local governments, even though Congress already provided $150 billion to the Coronavirus Relief Fund to help states and local governments cover pandemic-related expenses. State and local governments have not spent all the money, and it is unclear how much remains.
- State and local governments have not spent all the money. In fact, according to the U.S. Treasury Inspector General, as of the start of 2021, about $46 billion remains unspent.
- Many states do not need additional money. According to the Congressional Budget Office, state and local governments such as D.C. and California are in better financial condition than expected, reporting higher revenues than initially projected.
- The Democrats’ bailout prioritizes liberal cities over rural communities. More money should not be provided for blue state localities which closed businesses, schools, and churches, placing their citizens in greater economic, physical, and mental harm. State and local governments also should not receive bailout money for mismanaging their budgets.
Democrats seek to provide an additional 600 hours of paid leave to federal and postal workers—on top of the paid leave they already have.
- Federal workers already enjoy generous benefits, including paid leave.
- It is unfair to American workers to provide federal employees with an additional 75 days of paid leave, especially when this paid leave can be used to cover childcare as a result of school closures.
- Instead of asking taxpayers to foot the $570 million bill for more paid leave, a better approach is to reopen schools so working parents don’t need to take time off.
Energy & Commerce Committee (Day 2):
- Democrats will continue their push for liberal policies they’ve wanted long before Covid rather than focusing resources on beating the virus – such as encouraging states to permanently expand Medicaid and provide grants to state based exchanges that are already self-sufficient.
|You can view the first stimulus committee update HERE, and the second HERE.|