LaHood Opposes Democrats' Partisan COVID-19 Bill
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Darin LaHood (IL-18) tonight opposed the Democrats' partisan COVID-19 package. The $1.9 trillion package was purposely designed to pass through budget reconciliation without Republican input. The package received bipartisan opposition. The reconciliation process allows easier passage in the narrowly divided Senate next, requiring only a majority vote.
Congressman LaHood has previously supported five COVID-19 relief packages that were negotiated in a bipartisan manner since the outbreak of the pandemic. Following the vote, Rep. LaHood released this statement:
"Over the past year, the COVID-19 pandemic and state-mandated closures have wreaked havoc throughout Illinois. In five separate bills, which I supported, Congress acted swiftly and in a bipartisan manner to deliver targeted relief to workers, small businesses, the health care community, schools, and the unemployed. To date, Congress has authorized nearly $4 trillion in relief spending, of which $1 trillion remains unspent.
"Addressing the COVID-19 pandemic must be bipartisan. President Biden and Democrats in Congress specifically designed the "American Rescue Plan" package to circumvent any Republican input or changes. It's deeply disappointing that President Biden abandoned his commitment to finding common ground with Republicans in his first major legislative initiative.
"There are some good things in this package; however, over $1 trillion of included spending is directed towards items and programs that have more to do with the Democrats' liberal agenda and wish list than COVID-19 relief. Separate from a COVID-19 relief bill, some of these items may merit consideration and even support. But with a soaring national debt nearing $30 trillion, we can’t continue to blindly throw money at programs unrelated to the current emergency without thoughtful oversight and debate. I remain committed to finding bipartisan solutions to addressing this pandemic and helping Illinois, as we have done five separate times already.
"As I have said since the outset of this pandemic, COVID-19 relief legislation should be temporary, targeted, bipartisan, and directly tied to COVID-19. Democrats' failed in all four categories with this package."
- In five bipartisan packages passed by Congress, nearly $4 trillion in funding has been allocated to address the COVID-19 pandemic
- Over $1 trillion in funding from the five bipartisan COVID-19 relief packages has not been utilized
- The $1 trillion in unspent funding includes:
- State and Local Aid: $46 billion
- SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program: $280 billion
- Health Spending: $239 billion
- Economic Injury Disaster Loans: $172 billion
- Unemployment Insurance Expansion: $172 billion
- Stimulus Checks: $52 billion
- Agriculture: $29 billion
- Child Care and Development Block Grant: $10 billion
- The House Ways and Means Committee Republicans recently published a report that nearly one-third of the Coronavirus Relief Fund, intended to help state and local governments, remains unspent
- The report, which details the $1 trillion in funding provided already to state and local governments both directly and indirectly, can be viewed HERE
The Democrats' Plan:
- Less than 9 percent of the spending goes to combating COVID-19 through public health spending
- Multiple pro-life concerns in the package:
- Fails to include Hyde protections to prevent taxpayer dollars from paying for abortions
- Requires taxpayers to subsidize health plans that potentially cover elective abortions
- Changes PPP affiliation rules for non-profits to allow Planned Parenthood to receive funding
- Includes over $12 billion for foreign aid
- In early February, Rep. LaHood joined Ways and Means Committee Republicans to ask the Biden Administration to offer a jobs estimate on the COVID-19 plan
- The Biden Administration did not respond to the request