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Democrats Advance Bailout for Locked-Down, Poorly Managed States with No Strings Attached

Measure also provides an additional 600 hours of paid leave to federal employees

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Washington, February 12, 2021 | comments

By: Committee on Oversight and Reform Press Release

WASHINGTON—House Committee on Oversight and Reform Ranking Member James Comer (R-Ky.) issued the following statement after Democrats advanced a $350 billion bailout for state and local governments and $570 million in additional paid leave for federal and postal workers. The partisan legislation passed the Oversight Committee without a single Republican amendment.

“The Democrats’ partisan legislation does not deliver the solutions America needs and enables locked-down states to keep small businesses, schools, and churches closed. Rather than taking action to get unemployed Americans back to work and help small businesses keep their doors open, Democrats are providing a massive bailout to blue states while allowing their job-killing lockdowns to go unchecked. Instead of following the science and encouraging schools to safely reopen now, Democrats are sending money to communities where teachers unions refuse to go back to classrooms. And rather than helping out-of-work Americans, Democrats are providing federal bureaucrats with additional paid leave when they have jobs with enormous perks.

“Republicans offered several amendments that would provide accountability and transparency while helping spur economic growth, boost job creation, and get students back in classrooms. The Democrats opposed every single one. Democrats claim they’re trying to help struggling Americans, but that can’t be happen when shoving hundreds of billions out the door with no strings attached. The Democrats’ $2 trillion package is more likely to hurt our economy than stimulate it—that’s not just rhetoric, that’s coming from economists. This is not the unity President Biden pledged to the American people. It’s time for Democrats to work on real solutions and help the American people instead of borrowing and spending taxpayer dollars to reward their political allies.”  

The Democrats’ Partisan Legislation:

  • Provides $350 billion to bail out state and local governments and benefits liberal cities over rural communities even though $46 billion in CARES Act funding remains unspent and is available through Dec. 31, 2021.
    • California receives $41.2 billion even though it is projected the state has a budget surplus of $10.3 billion.
    • New York receives $23.3 billion even though Governor Cuomo has botched vaccine distribution and intentionally covered up how many New Yorkers died as a result of his order mandating COVID-positive patients be sent to nursing homes.
  • Spends $570 million to provide federal and postal workers with an additional 600 hours of paid leave on top of their current paid leave to cover the effects of lockdowns and school closures.

Committee Republicans Offered Improvements but Democrats Opposed:

  • ensuring Coronavirus Relief Funds (CRF) are distributed in the most effective, efficient, and responsible manner going forward
  • preventing states and local governments from receiving funds if they fail to follow the science and reopen schools
  • prioritizing American citizens for the vaccine before illegal immigrants
  • preventing funds from going to sanctuary cities and to jurisdictions that defund the police
  • providing rural areas a fair shot at receiving funding from the CRF
  • enacting good governance by transitioning grants into loans when funds aren’t used for COVID-19 response
  • protecting American jobs and energy
  • defending Americans’ First Amendment rights
  • holding nursing homes that failed to accurately report Covid-19 deaths accountable
  • extending additional emergency leave to members of the U.S. Capitol Police

Key Amendments Voted Down by Democrats:

  • Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.) offered an amendment to safely reopen schools by preventing schools from receiving federal funds if they fail to listen to the CDC and follow the science and reopen classrooms to in-person learning.
  • Several Republicans tried to improve the distribution of the CRF to ensure the distribution meets the letter of the law and is fairly distributed across our country based on needs.
    • Ranking Member Comer offered an amendment restricting funds to only go to state expenses directly related to the Covid-19 national emergency.
    • Rep. Yvette Herrell (R-N.M.) offered an amendment to ensure fair distribution of the CRF for small rural communities.
    • Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) introduced an amendment to penalize intentional misuse of CRF funds.
    • Rep. Foxx offered an amendment to revise the CRF in order to provide rural communities with a fairer share. As is, the bill prioritizes urban areas.
    • Rep. Scott Franklin (R-Fla.) introduced an amendment requiring justifications for CRF distributions.
    • Rep. Nancy Mace (R-S.C.) offered amendments to prevent CRF funds from being used in duplicate of other Covid-19 relief funds and to ensure recipients report how the funds will be used.
    • Rep. Andrew Clyde (R-Ga.) introduced an amendment to ensure the Department of Treasury Office of the Inspector General oversees all CRF payments.
  • Rep. Glenn Grothman (R-Wis.) tried to protect American jobs and energy with an amendment to push President Biden to reverse his decision to cancel the Keystone Pipeline.
  • Ranking Member Comer offered an amendment to extend the same additional leave afforded to federal workers to members of the U.S. Capitol Police.
  • Rep. Glenn Grothman (R-Wis.) and Michael Cloud (R-Texas) introduced amendments to prevent dangerous sanctuary cities and jurisdictions that ignore federal immigration law from receiving funding.
  • Rep. Clay Higgins (R-La.) introduced an amendment to prevent cities defunding the police from receiving funding.
  • Rep. Michael Cloud (R-Texas) tried to protect the First Amendment rights of all Americans by restricting federal funding from going towards states restricting church activities more than non-secular activities.
  • Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) introduced an amendment to ensure American citizens are the priority by preventing funds from going towards services or payments to illegal immigrants.
  • Rep. Scott Franklin (R-Fla.) and Byron Donalds (R-Fla.) introduced amendments to prevent funding from going to any entities that undercounted deaths from Covid-19 in nursing homes or are under investigation for lethal “must admit” orders.
  • Rep. Byron Donalds (R-Fla.) tried to ensure Americans are prioritized for vaccine distribution, not illegal immigrants.
  • Ranking Member Comer introduced a good government amendment to transition grants used for non-Covid-19-related expenditures into loans.
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