WASHINGTON, D.C. – Rep Mike Gallagher (R-WI) today released the following statement after voting against H.R. 1319, a $1.9 trillion bill that the Biden Administration has referred to as “the most progressive legislation in history.”
“Over the course of the past year, Congress has passed more than $4 trillion in Coronavirus relief – nearly $1 trillion of which remains unspent. But instead of waiting to allocate this massive sum of money, my colleagues opted to rush through an additional $1.9 trillion dollar package that the Biden Administration itself admitted is ‘the most progressive piece of legislation in history.’
“This bill was fundamentally flawed two weeks ago, and even after being amended in the Senate, is still fundamentally flawed today. We all want to ensure hospitals receive the funding they need to distribute vaccines, schools can reopen, and that individuals hardest hit by the virus can get by. But instead of working across the aisle, President Biden pushed for the wrong plan, at the wrong time, for the wrong reasons. So much for unity.”
This plan would:
- Authorize 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 obligated to K-12 schools remains available from previous relief packages to support reopening schools and could be utilized immediately.
- Include the establishment and funding of the “Emergency Federal Employee Leave Fund” which allows certain federal bureaucrats up to 15 weeks of paid leave, up to $1,400 a week, for various reasons including if their child has the option or is required to participate in virtual learning.
- Provide $350 billion to bailout blue states, despite the fact that most states collected about the same amount of revenue during the pandemic, with some collecting even more.
- Create a bonus for bureaucrats by authorizing funds to be used to provide up to $25,000 in premium pay to eligible state and local government workers.
- Include multiple pro-life concerns, from failing to include Hyde protections that prevent taxpayer dollars from paying for abortions to requiring taxpayers to subsidize health plans that potentially cover elective abortions.
- Codify numerous partisan priorities, including duplicative rental assistance to funnel money toward non-COVID purposes and restarts the ineffective Obama-era State Small Business Credit Initiative.
- Include $300 a week federal unemployment through September.
Allow illegal immigrants to be eligible for some benefits included in the package.