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House Minority Whip Steve Scalise and Americans for Prosperity President Tim Phillips worked together on an op-ed in the Washington Post to make the case that “big vs. small” is the wrong way to think about coronavirus relief legislation.
“This is a false choice, and we shouldn’t let platitudes about ‘going big’ mask the need for smart and effective policy,” according to Phillips and Scalise, who is also the senior Republican member of the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis.
More than $1 trillion of the money already provided over the past year remains unspent. People are still hurting, and legislation should be moved quickly to address those needs. But the $1.9 trillion package backed by the president and congressional leaders is filled with wasteful partisan wish list funding that has nothing to do with the pandemic.
Scalise and Phillips write:
We’ve heard firsthand from friends and family who want to get vaccinated but can’t. We’ve heard from neighbors who simply want to get back to normal and get back to work. What the country needs is focus. That involves an approach to covid-19 relief spending that is timely, temporary and targeted to those hit hardest by the pandemic.
The more than $1 trillion yet to be used includes $183 billion for more paycheck protection, $199 billion for health care, $136 billion for expanded unemployment insurance, and $46 billion for direct stimulus payments. “We have no business borrowing an additional $2 trillion from our children’s future when all of that remains to be spent to help our country reopen safely,” argue Scalise and Phillips.
Instead, they call for a bill that zeroes in on defeating the virus, accelerating economic recovery, and increasing vaccine production and distribution.
You can read the whole thing at WashingtonPost.com. Then, email your lawmaker to tell them to reject President Biden’s $1.9 trillion response proposal.