McCarthy Slams $1.9 Trillion Stimulus As “Costly, Corrupt, And So Liberal” — Says Only 9% Of Package Meant To Defeat COVID-19
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy blasted the $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief bill that Democrats passed over the weekend calling it “extremely corrupt, costly and just so liberal.”
House lawmakers passed the measure in a 219-212 vote early Saturday — almost entirely along party lines for the stimulus bill with two Democrats voting against the Biden-backed proposal: Reps. Jared Golden (Maine) and Kurt Schrader of (Oregon).
— The Hill (@thehill) February 24, 2021
“We have done five other COVID bills and every single one of them was bipartisan,” McCarthy told Fox News on Sunday morning. “The Biden administration has become the most partisan administration in modern history.”
McCarthy also slammed the proposal for allocating funds to be used “not until 2023” — saying the point of the stimulus bill is to help relieve the burdens of Americans, now.
“We still have a trillion dollars sitting out there that has to be appropriated — sent to the economy. The money in this bill for schools, 95% of it won’t even go out this fiscal year, two-thirds of it won’t go out until 2023. The real focus here should be putting people back to work, back to school, and back to health,” the top House Republican said.
His point was earlier raised by Rep. Golden (Maine) who described his party’s proposal as laden with “unnecessary or untimely spending.”
“During challenging times, the country needs its elected leaders to work together to meet the most urgent needs in their communities,” the Democratic lawmaker said according to The Associated Press. “This bill addresses urgent needs, and then buries them under a mountain of unnecessary or untimely spending.”
Among others, the Biden-backed proposal dubbed the “American Rescue Plan” allocated $350 billion for states, local governments and tribal governments, $200 billion for public schools, $50 billion for COVID-19 vaccination distribution, contact tracing and testing, and it will extend the weekly unemployment booster checks at $400 through August.
The legislation also earmarked funding for another round of stimulus checks at $1,400 for individuals earning less than $75,000 annually.
The bill also contains provision to increase the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour — which many GOP lawmakers objected to, citing how it would further hurt businesses and cost American jobs under the current economic landscape.
Only 9% provision for defeating COVID-19
In his interview, McCarthy said there was nothing ‘bipartisan’ about the bill passed by the Democrat-controlled House as he earlier referred to it as “Pelosi’s Payoff Bill.”
“The Democrats only have a five-seat majority. They just spent almost two trillion dollars in the most partisan way you can,” he said.
McCarthy on Fox on COVID bill: This thing is just so corrupt, so costly. And you look at it's just so liberal…the Biden administration has become the most partisan administration in modern history.
— Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) February 28, 2021
The top House Republican also noted that only 9% of the whole $1.9 trillion relief package was allocated for fighting the coronavirus.
“The swamp is back,” McCarthy said, further describing the proposal as “Democrats’ costly, corrupt and liberal spending package.”
“We ran the numbers. The amount of money that actually goes to defeating the virus is less than 9% – Less than 9%! So don’t call it a rescue bill. Don’t call it a relief bill. Call it the Pelosi Payoff,” he said.
Congress is rushing to send an approved relief proposal to President Joe Biden by March 14, when key unemployment relief programs are set to expire.
Meanwhile, Democrat Rep. Golden, who voted against the measure, earlier said the stimulus process should have involved Republicans.
“I like to often remind myself that just because you can do something doesn’t mean that you should. It doesn’t mean that it’s in the best interest of the country,” Golden told The Hill in a separate interview.
“I guess I would say that I don’t think it was in the best interest of the country. I think that we have ended up with worse public policy as a result, rather than a more targeted bill that would come out of a bipartisan process,” he added.
My statement on this morning's vote: https://t.co/CRwdqif6Yz
— Congressman Jared Golden (@RepGolden) February 27, 2021
The Senate is expected to take on the legislation this week with reports saying Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer will bring the spending package to the Senate floor as soon as Wednesday.
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