Sixth District Congressman Bill Johnson ridiculed a proposed $1.9-trillion COVID relief bill supported by Democratic President Joe Biden and Democratic-controlled U.S. House of Representatives, which was approved by the House early Saturday morning, Feb. 27 in a party-line vote.
The bill passed by a narrow 219-212 majority with all Republicans voting against and all but two Democrats voting in favor of it. The legislation now goes to the U.S. Senate where the Democrats’ majority is even slimmer. Democrats support the $1.9-trillion package, arguing it will provide much needed relief to American citizens, governments and businesses. Republicans, in general, feel $1.9 trillion is too much and that the bill will also provide too much money to projects which have nothing to do with COVID.
Congressman Johnson, whose 6th District includes Jackson County, released the following statement on Saturday:
“Last year, we passed two effective COVID relief bills with bipartisan support. I headed into this current process with an open mind, but in no way could I support the final version Speaker Nancy Pelosi pushed through the House. This reckless bill should’ve focused on helping struggling families and businesses like we did in 2020, but Democrats are not interested in real solutions that will actually bring relief for those Americans who need it most…far from it. Instead, they chose to push a bill aimed at pleasing left-leaning groups rather than helping working Americans get up off the canvas and back on their feet after this fight against the coronavirus.
“The bottom line: The Democrats’ $1.9-trillion ‘COVID relief’ legislation has little to do with combatting the coronavirus. In fact, less than 9 percent of the bill goes directly toward addressing COVID public-health concerns.
“Here is just a partial list of what is in the bill: An underground tunnel in Silicon Valley; $350 billion in bailouts for fiscally mismanaged Democratic-run states and cities; a $56-billion federally-mandated minimum wage increase; a $34-billion expansion of Obamacare; $200 million for the Institute of Museum and Library Services; $125 million to the National Institute for the Arts; and enhanced paid time off for federal employees — and only federal employees — whose children are not back in school.
“I stand ready and willing to look at all legislation dedicated to fighting this COVID pandemic, no matter where or who the ideas come from. However, this expensive grab bag of Democrat liberal wish-list items masquerading as ‘COVID relief’ failed to measure up to that standard.”
Congressman Steve Stivers, whose 15th District includes Vinton County, voted “no” on the COVID relief bill, but did not immediately issue a statement.