President Joe Biden has been advocating strongly for the passage of his proposed $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill, with allies in Congress similarly pushing for its rapid approval.
For GOP critics like House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), however, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and others appear to be engaging in little more than the pursuit of a progressive wishlist.
“Don’t call it a rescue or relief bill”
As McCarthy argued in a recent Fox News op-ed, the “price tag of Democrats’ bill is jaw-dropping” and much of that spending has little to do with direct pandemic relief.
“At $1.9 trillion, it is the single most expensive bill in history,” McCarthy added. “But don’t call it a rescue or relief bill. Call it a Pelosi Payoff.”
He went on to assert that the “amount of money that actually goes to funding public health is less than nine percent,” lambasting the legislation as “not a serious attempt to fix the real problems of the American people.”
Though McCarthy is far from the only member of his party to sound the alarms over what he described as a pork-laden proposal, his op-ed pointed to various “pet projects” worthy of derision — including a $100 million grant for a tunnel outside of Pelosi’s district.
“Other ‘urgent needs include $50 million for Planned Parenthood, $685 billion that isn’t scheduled to be spent for another two years — about a third of the entire cost of the bill, and an additional $1,400 per week, up to $21,000 total, for federal employees who have kids out of school, but ignores millions of parents outside of D.C. who are also suffering through school closures, a crisis that has already forced one million American moms to leave the workforce,” he declared.
“Democrats chose to cut Republicans out of the process”
According to McCarthy, the bill will not lead to “any assurance” for American families that local schools will open in the near term, pointing out that “only five percent of the education funding in this bill is scheduled to be spent this year.”
Furthermore, he slammed Democrats for their plan to push the behemoth bill through Congress without Republican support, using the so-called reconciliation process that allows it to pass with a simple majority vote.
“Unfortunately, President Joe Biden and Congressional Democrats chose to cut Republicans out of the process,” McCarthy wrote. “After claiming on the campaign trail that he would be a ‘President for all Americans,’ President Biden has made zero attempt at bipartisanship.”
He concluded by describing “the solution America needs” as “one that will get us on a path back to normal,” including an end to “non-science-based lockdowns” still in place across many Democratic-led states.
Nevertheless, the House voted to approve the bill on Saturday with Pelosi as one of its most vocal supporters, saying: “This is a spectacular piece of legislation. While the Senate has prevented us temporarily from passing one aspect of it, let us not be distracted from what is in here.”