Democrats Aim to Exploit Pandemic with Unrelated Partisan Spending Spree
‘Incredible vaccines. A rebounding economy. That’s what the Biden Administration inherited thanks to last year’s work. But Washington Democrats are trying to exploit the last chapters of the crisis to pass what President Biden’s Chief of Staff calls ‘the most progressive domestic legislation in a generation.’
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered the following remarks today on the Senate floor regarding COVID-19 recovery:
“Yesterday, our Democratic colleagues had planned to begin ramming through their partisan spending spree. But it seems they’ve had some difficulty just getting to the starting line.
“After all, Senate Democrats, including committee chairs, are essentially being jammed with text from the House. Their own members have barely been able to read this thing, let alone shape it.
“Let’s think back to where we were a year ago.
“11½ months ago, the Senate was also discussing a major spending package. In fact, it was the same size as what’s been proposed now — about $2 trillion. An appropriate price tag back at the start of this crisis.
“But that’s where the similarity ends.
“Last March, the Senate was working overtime in bipartisan groups to craft good policy from the bottom up.
“I assembled bipartisan task forces. We had Republicans and Democrats and staff working around the clock to build the policies that would save our health system and economy.
“The CARES Act sustained us for almost a year of shutdowns. It funded the healthcare fight, saved small businesses, and funded Operation Warp Speed, which helped pave the way for these pioneering vaccines and pre-ordered hundreds of millions of doses for Americans.
“The law sent so much relief to households that even as GDP declined, personal income and savings actually went up. Even liberal economists say President Biden has inherited an economy that was already primed for a swift recovery.
“It was the largest American rescue package ever. Yet it passed the Senate without one single dissenting vote. Because it was built the right way.
“That was last March. So what about today?
“Well, instead of heading into a dark tunnel, we’re accelerating out of it. Incredible vaccines. A rebounding economy. That’s what the Biden Administration inherited thanks to last year’s work.
“But Washington Democrats are trying to exploit the last chapters of the crisis to pass what President Biden’s Chief of Staff calls ‘the most progressive domestic legislation in a generation.’
“And they’ve told Republicans: Take it or leave it.
“No openness to meaningful bipartisan input. Ten Republican Senators approached President Biden and proposed cooperation, on the order of hundreds of billions of dollars. They were refused.
“All that interested Democrats was a partisan hodgepodge of largely non-COVID-related items.
“Last year, the Democratic Leader said that ‘sitting in your own office, writing a bill, and then demanding the other side support it is not anyone’s idea of bipartisanship.’
“As recently as late November, he said: ‘We need a true bipartisan bill – not ‘this is our bill, take it or leave it.’
“Another time, our friend from New York told everyone to, quote, ‘go look up in the dictionary what bipartisanship is. It’s both parties working together, not your party doing a bill and then saying it’s bipartisan.’
“In less than four months we’ve had two completely different versions of the Democratic Leader. The two of them could have a fascinating debate.
“But look, the real tragedy here is not Senate process. It’s how ill-suited this bill is to what Americans need right now.
“No policies to get schools reopened right away. No smart solutions to directly spur rehiring.
“Less than 1% of the money goes to the vaccines that will end this nightmare. Only 9% to the entire healthcare fight put together.
“I guess it’s become a rite of passage for a new Democratic president to begin with a poorly-targeted spending spree that doesn’t give Americans what they need.
“We already laid the foundation for a roaring comeback. The Biden Administration inherited a tide that was already turning. But they’ve chosen to ignore the approach that got us this far.”
Related Issues: COVID-19