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AFP Issues Key Vote Alert Against $1.9T COVID Package, Pushes Congress to Embrace More Targeted Approach

Feb 26, 2021 by AFP

Arlington, VA – Americans for Prosperity (AFP) issued a Key Vote Alert against the so-called American Rescue Plan Act, President Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID package, which is packed with unnecessary spending for long-standing partisan priorities and will do nothing to end the pandemic or help the economy recover stronger. AFP believes any COVID relief spending should be timely, temporary, and targeted to those hit hardest by the pandemic.

Earlier this week the group launched a six-figure campaign to mobilize its grassroots activists against the bill. The campaign focuses on 10 key states and includes a robust direct mail, digital, and radio advertising campaign to supplement the work of its grassroots teams. The group recently sent a letter to the White House and Congress encouraging lawmakers to embrace an approach to COVID relief advanced by Sen. Collins and nine of her colleagues.

Click here to view the Key Vote Alert.

In the Key Vote Alert, Chief Government Affairs Officer Brent Gardner writes:

Dear Member of Congress, 

On behalf Americans for Prosperity activists in all 50 states, I write urging you to vote “NO” on the so-called American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.

This $1.9 trillion COVID spending bill fails to address the key challenges of defeating the virus, accelerating economic recovery, or providing timely, targeted, and temporary relief to those who need it most. The bill ignores bipartisan support for more targeted alternatives that apply resources where they will do the most good and is instead packed with spending for items that have no place in a pandemic relief bill.

President Biden said the risk is not going too big, but too small. That is a false choice. Taking a timely, temporary, and targeted approach isn’t “small.” It’s smart. Besides, we’ve already gone big. Congress has already passed more than $4 trillion in pandemic assistance, and $1 trillion of that still remains unspent. Additionally, the Congressional Budget Office upgraded their economic outlook following better-than-expected economic growth in the last quarter of 2020, bolstering the case that more massive spending is unnecessary.

This $1.9 trillion package isn’t relief – it’s a partisan wish list for spending that has no place in a COVID relief package, including:

$350 Billion in Bailouts to state and local governments: Congress shouldn’t reward states that have track records of irresponsible spending and punish states that have made responsible spending decisions. Many states had fiscal problems that predated the pandemic. We already know the economic situation in many states is not as dire as it was predicted, most have seen revenues stabilize in the second half of 2020 and some are even running surpluses.

$45 Billion in Bailouts to Insurance Companies: Congress should not approve tens of billions of funds that will directly benefit insurance companies and big businesses. Some of the biggest subsidies will go to those who need it least – high income earners who already have insurance.

Minimum Wage Hike: Doubling the cost for hiring workers on businesses already struggling to make payroll while millions are out of work would eliminate jobs and be a deathblow for countless businesses like restaurants.

Americans want timely, targeted, and temporary relief – not a massive spending bill that will drive us deeper into debt and do nothing to defeat the virus or help our economy recover stronger. Instead, Congress should pursue policies that will help save lives and save livelihoods, as outlined in Americans for Prosperity’s policy agenda and put us on the path to recovery.

We urge every member of congress to vote “NO” on the so-called American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. This vote will be included in our legislative scorecard.

Sincerely,

Brent Gardner

Chief Government Affairs Officer

Americans for Prosperity