Democrats Tack to the Left and Leave Families’ Top Priorities on the Cutting Room Floor
‘What the American people need are fast-acting plans to get schools reopen now, get laid-off workers back into jobs, and finish the fight against this virus. The Democrats have instead drawn up a liberal omnibus to fund miscellaneous government spending for the next decade.’
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:
“Last year, Congress rallied five times around historic, bipartisan legislation to meet urgent and unprecedented needs. Our COVID-19 packages reinforced the healthcare front lines, fueled the sprint for vaccines, and cast lifelines for the workers and small businesses hit hardest by shutdowns.
“Together, these bills cost about $4 trillion. But none of those measures passed the House of Representatives with less than a bipartisan supermajority of about 80%. Completely overwhelming support.
“Then, last week, House Democrats rammed through the “American Rescue Plan Act” on a razor-thin margin of 50.7%. The only thing bipartisan about their bill was the opposition to it.
“Their bill costs about $2 trillion. That’s roughly the same size as the entire CARES Act that saved our health system and economy through months of shutdowns. Even liberal experts admit this is far out of proportion to what’s needed now, with vaccines going into arms and the economy already primed to roar back.
“Amazingly, Democrats managed to allocate less than 9% of their massive bill to the entire healthcare response, and less than 1% to the vaccinations that will finish this fight.
“They needed to save the other 91% of the borrowed money for a vast catalog of liberal spending with basically no relationship to beating COVID-19.
“For example: They want to send wheelbarrows of cash to state and local bureaucrats to bail out mismanagement from before the pandemic.
“They’re changing the previous, bipartisan funding formula in ways that will especially bias the money toward big, blue states. This outraged a bipartisan group of governors largely from Middle America who went on the record this week.
“There are generous new benefit packages for government employees.
“There are provisions to let abortion providers drain money from rescue programs that were built to save Main Street small businesses.
“There’s a strange new Acela Corridor Kickback where they’ll make Medicare send more money just to New Jersey, Rhode Island, and Delaware.
“Just looking at the timeframe for all their spending belies any notion this is an urgent rescue plan.
“Take the K-12 funding which, contrary to science, Democrats say is a prerequisite for opening schools. 95% of that supposedly urgent money would not be spent this fiscal year, but instead, over the next seven years.
“Grants for rural health care would be on a slow drip through fiscal 2024.
“Agriculture-related funds would trickle out over the next decade.
“What the American people need are fast-acting plans to get schools reopen now, get laid-off workers back into jobs, and finish the fight against this virus. The Democrats have instead drawn up a liberal omnibus to fund miscellaneous government spending for the next decade.
“That’s why there was bipartisan opposition over in the House of Representatives.
“That’s why aspects of the House bill are already dropping like flies before this thing even hits the Senate floor. A pet project for the San Francisco Bay Area — gone.
“Special upgrades for a bridge connecting New York to Canada — gone.
“Even CNN had to admit these were ‘controversial.’
“Senator Sanders’ far-left minimum wage policy that would have killed 1.4 million jobs just as we try to recover — that appears to be gone, too, at least for now.
“According to public reports, right now, as we speak, several of our Senate Democratic colleagues are frantically trying to trim back other crazy provisions.
“The runaway government bailouts.
“The policies that will keep workers at home when we should be focused on rehiring.
“Just a few days ago, President Biden’s Chief of Staff bragged that this smorgasbord of borrowed money will add up to “’the most progressive domestic legislation in a generation.’
“That’s what you get when the Democratic Leader persuades all my distinguished friends across the aisle that their first undertaking as Senate committee chairmen should be to outsource their gavels to the House.
“The Senate wrote the CARES Act.
“In the earliest days of the crisis, this chamber took the bull by the horns. I personally assembled bipartisan task forces that crafted urgent solutions that helped America weather the storm.
“This time around, on the substance, the Senate has largely been missing in action. House Democrats are bristling and publicly pushing back if our Senate Democratic colleagues even try to make their mark on this partisan bill in small ways.
“So these two radically different processes have generated two radically different pieces of legislation.
“The Democrats had a choice. They chose to go it alone, tack to the left, and leave families’ top priorities on the cutting-room floor.”
Related Issues: Senate Democrats, Jobs, Education, Health Care, Economy, COVID-19