The Democrats in the House of Representatives formally unveiled the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan that will be considered on the House floor next week.
The bill, a compilation of smaller measures composed in various House Committees currently includes:
- Funding for vaccine production and distribution.
- An increase in the National Minimum Wage to $15.00 an hour.
- $1400 direct payments to Americans who make $75,000 or less.
- An extension of unemployment insurance and increase in payments to $400.00
- Aid to schools.
- Aid to small businesses.
- Aid to state and local governments.
- Funding to combat food insecurity.
- Rental and mortgage assistance.
- Expanding the Child and the Earned Income Tax Credits.
Readers can read the full bill by clicking here.
Republicans and Conservative-leaning organizations outside Washington D.C., like most Democrats and Independents, support this plan. Polls conducted in February show support for the American Rescue Plan ranging from 60 to 70 percent.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer released a press statement, listing Republican Governors and Mayors across the country that want Congress to pass the American Rescue Plan.
- West Virginia Governor Jim Justice who earlier this month said Congress should pass a package as big as possible, also stated: “We need to understand that trying to be, per se, fiscally responsible at this point in time with what we’ve got going on in this country — if we actually throw away some money right now, so what? We have really got to move and get people taken care of and get people back on balance.”
- Fresno Mayor Jerry Dyler commented: “It’s not a Republican issue or a Democrat issue…It’s a public health issue. It’s an economic issue. And it’s a public safety issue.”
- Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price relayed: “We’re not asking the Democrats or the Republicans to put money into city coffers. We’re asking them to put it into the community to help people get back on their feet.”
Hoyer also cited the bipartisan United States Conference of Mayors who sent a letter to Congressional Leaders. It read:
“On behalf of The United States Conference of Mayors, we urge you to take immediate action on comprehensive coronavirus relief legislation, including providing direct fiscal assistance to all cities, which is long overdue. President Biden’s American Rescue Plan contains such assistance as part of an aggressive strategy to contain the virus, increase access to life-saving vaccines, and create a foundation for sustainable and inclusive recovery.”
“Your quick action on President Biden’s plan is a crucial step to making meaningful progress in one of the most challenging moments in our country’s history. The United States Conference of Mayors is eager to work with Congress and the incoming Administration to meet this challenge. We encourage you to take up the President’s rescue plan as soon as possible in the 117th Congress.”
Conservative-leaning organizations like the United States Chamber of Commerce support the $1.9 trillion measure, issuing a statement that read:
“The U.S. Chamber of Commerce welcomes the introduction of President-elect Biden’s American Rescue Plan. Specifically, we applaud the President-elect’s focus on vaccinations and on economic sectors and families that continue to suffer as the pandemic rages on.”
So do conservative economists like Donald Trump’s former chief economics advisor Kevin Hassett.
So who is against this measure to help the American People combat this pandemic?
Republicans in Congress of course.
This should not surprise readers because:
- Historically, the great majority of Republicans in Congress have defied public polls and have voted against legislation to help the American People. Remember the Clinton Economic Program. Remember the Obama/Biden American Recovery Act. Remember the Affordable Care Act.
- Republicans also find concern about the national debt when the bill is not a large tax cut for the rich. Helping people in need else seems to be a perpetual hardship for conservative leaders in Congress.
- These are mostly the same people who voted to overturn the 2020 Electoral College votes in Pennsylvania and Arizona.
- They are the individuals that, with the exception of 17 brave people, voted not to impeach or convict Donald Trump for his part in inciting the Domestic Terrorist Attack on the Nation’s Capitol on January 6, 2021.
It seems that the majority of Republicans that are against the American Rescue Plan can be found in the halls of Congress.
The voters need to remember that these people who voted to let Donald Trump off the hook during his second impeachment are the same ones that will probably vote to screw them when they needed help the most.
Talk about misplaced priorities.
The only Republican COVID relief proposal was less than a third the size of the Biden/Harris-Democratic Plan and did not include features like aid to state and local governments (which must thrill Republican Governors and Mayors.)
There has been no public counterproposal from Republicans.
Democrats have no choice but to go the reconciliation route. It would be nice if Republicans voted for the American Rescue Plan that so many of their colleagues across statehouses, city halls, academia, and activist groups support.
But if history is a guide, this COVID relief measure will probably be modified in the Senate, and pass with little or no Republican support.
The people should not forget that these members of the former Party of Lincoln supported a traitor who wanted to destroy American Democracy and voted against their health, ability to put food on the table, and pay for the roof over their heads.
Hopefully, the people will not forget those votes in 2022, 2024, and beyond.