House Democrats last week unveiled a COVID-19 relief package President Biden says is necessary to reopen schools, speed vaccination distribution, and help small businesses. As the House Budget Committee meets to discuss the proposal, lawmakers from the Republican Study Committee (RSC) are passing around a short memo that details some controversial aspects of the bill.
Here are a few things the COVID relief package includes:
- Paycheck Protection benefits for Planned Parenthood and violent criminals
- Direct payments of $1,400 to mixed-status families
- $100 million for a controversial rail project beneath Silicon Valley
- Expanded Medicaid eligibility for incarcerated criminals
- $50 million in grants to environmental justice groups
- Financial assistance based on ethnicity
- Funding to colleges that partner with China-run Confucius Institutes (read more here)
- $600 million in additional funding for family leave for federal employees, including postal workers
- COVID relief funding for schools even if they remain closed
- $350 billion to bail out state and local governments
‘The more we hear about this relief package, the worse it sounds,’ says Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN), Chairman of the RSC. ‘Americans deserve to know how their taxpayer dollars are being spent by Democrats.’
The $1.9 trillion package also extends and amplifies existing federal unemployment benefits and sets into motion a plan to increase the minimum wage to $15 by 2025, even for tipped workers. These provisions are expected to cost 1.4 million jobs and incentivize able-bodied Americans to remain unemployed.
And the cherry on top: less than 1% of that $1.9 trillion will go towards vaccine development and distribution.
“It’s clear Democrats have no interest in approaching COVID relief in a timely and targeted fashion and are instead using the reconciliation process to jam through their liberal wish list agenda,” argues House GOP Whip Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA), who has nicknamed the bill “Pelosi’s Payoff to Progressives Act.”
Author’s Note: Unfortunately, we have come to expect this sort of thing from the Democratic Party. Instead of passing a simple relief package that will make Americans’ lives better, they are prioritizing all sorts of unrelated goals over the health and safety of the very people who voted them into office.