WASHINGTON—Representative Scott Franklin (R–FL) today opposed the Senate amendment to H.R. 1319, the “American Rescue Plan.” This massive spending package is disguised as a COVID relief bill, yet 91% of the spending fails to address the pandemic. It is thin on measures to get Americans back to work, back to school, or back to health, but instead uses COVID as cover to fund a highly partisan wish list of far-left priorities.
“Unlike the three prior COVID relief bills that enjoyed wide support from both sides of the aisle, it’s disheartening to see my Democrat colleagues forego sincere bipartisan efforts to help America,” Rep. Franklin said. “Congress could have provided targeted relief where it is most needed, yet Democrats chose to load up a nearly $2,000,000,000,000 payoff to political allies, while handing our children and grandchildren a legacy of debt. The Congressional Budget Office reports that without any new stimulus funding, our economy is projected to reach pre-pandemic levels of real GDP growth by the middle of this year.
“Sadly, this bill remains a progressive wish list of provisions unrelated to COVID that will keep schools closed, bailout blue states and pay people not to work. Republicans tried to target spending and increase transparency and accountability. Our efforts were summarily rejected simply because there was an R next to the name of the sponsor. This is not unity, and this will not help America,” Franklin concluded.
Provisions in the Senate Amendment to Pelosi’s Payoff to Progressives Act:
- Authorizes approximately $130 billion to schools without any guarantee that schools provide the option of in-person instruction for America’s school children.
- According to CBO, 95% of the money for schools won’t be spent until after 2021 - slowing down getting kids back in school.
- Nearly all of the $68 billion previously obligated to K-12 schools remains available to support reopening schools and could be used immediately.
- Less than 9% of the $1.9 trillion plan goes to combatting COVID-19 through public health spending such as national vaccination program, tracking, and more testing.
- Provides $350 billion to bailout blue states, despite the fact that most states collected about the same amount of revenue during the pandemic.
- Multiple pro-life concerns in the package:
- Fails to include Hyde protections to prevent taxpayer dollars from paying for abortions.
- Changes PPP affiliation rules for non-profits to allow Planned Parenthood to receive funding.
- Despite projections for 3.7% economic growth, the legislation provides a third round of stimulus checks costing approximately $400 billion and will include households that have experienced little or no financial loss during the pandemic. It will also provide checks to incarcerated felons, including those such as Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the Boston Marathon Bomber.
- Illegal immigrants would be eligible for some benefits included in the package.