The House passed the Democrats’ $1.9 trillion coronavirus bill Wednesday, sending it to President Joe Biden to sign.
The House passed H.R. 1319, The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, by a vote of 220-211.
The bill featured bipartisan opposition to the bill as Rep. Jared Golden (D-ME), who represents a swing district, announced that he would vote against the bill during the House vote. He voted against the bill when it originally passed through the House.
“Borrowing and spending hundreds of billions more in excess of meeting the most urgent needs poses a risk to both our economic recovery and the priorities,” Golden said.
Republicans vehemently opposed the legislation as it progressed through Congress. Democrats used budgetary reconciliation to pass the bill with only a simple majority through the Senate. Republicans previously used budgetary reconciliation to pass the Trump Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and tried to use reconciliation to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) said on the House floor Wednesday that the Democrat coronavirus bill “showers money on special interests, but spends less than nine percent on actually defeating the virus.”
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But it gives San Francisco $600 million, essentially wiping out 92 percent of their budget deficit. In both the House and Senate, the only bipartisan vote has been against it. And after 5 relief bills, it is on track to be the first passed by strictly party lines. Republicans have said that the bill before us today is costly, corrupt, and liberal. Now, even the Biden White House agrees: it is very liberal. They called it the ‘most progressive piece of legislation in history.’ So let’s be clear: This isn’t a rescue bill. It isn’t a relief bill. It’s a laundry list of leftwing priorities that predate the pandemic and do not meet the needs of American families.
House Republican Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) said that the bill contains “$1,400 checks” that would send checks to prisoners such as the Boston Bomber. He added that it would “further” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) “socialist agenda.”
In February, the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget wrote that the House version of the coronavirus bill contains at least $312 billion in policies unrelated to the coronavirus.
Rep. Jason Smith (R-MO), the ranking member of the Budget Committee, slammed Democrats Wednesday morning for blocking a motion that would have prevented prisoners and illegal immigrants from receiving stimulus payments.
Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) said that Democrats stuffed the bill with “more pet projects” while ignoring calls to reopen America’s schools.