Prior to Democrats’ passage of a $1.9 trillion boondoggle masquerading as economic stimulus, Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., called attention to the massive pork spending from Democrats that was redirecting money away from the bill’s intended purpose.
Gosar said that cutting just 10 items out of the Democrats’ 200+ budgetary riders would leave enough to increase the promised payments for many Americans to $10,000.
He offered up an amendment to raise the direct stimulus amount by an extra $8,600 per person—less the already proposed $1,400 payments that were included in the so-called American Rescue Plan.
“People need help with car payments, mortgage and rent, and everyday necessities,” Gosar said in his amendment, according to Fox Business.
“The government broke it. Now government must fix it,” he continued. “The people, not corporations or billionaires, need this money to survive.”
But House Democrats scoffed at the amendment, and nearly all other GOP proposals for the bill.
They passed it with a near party-line 219-212 vote on Saturday, although two Democrat defectors opposed the bill due to its inadequate emphasis on COVID relief.
“During challenging times, the country needs its elected leaders to work together to meet the most urgent needs in their communities, said Rep. Jared Golden, D-Maine, one of the defectors, in a statement Saturday.
“This bill addresses urgent needs, and then buries them under a mountain of unnecessary or untimely spending,” he said.
After then-President Donald Trump’s call for $2,000 direct payments was rejected by the GOP-led Senate, his successor-in-waiting, Joe Biden, promised in early January that the $2,000 checks would be “out the door” if Democrats regained control of the chamber, pending two Georgia run-offs.
Instead, since regaining the majority, Democrats have prioritized several other agenda items—including an impeachment do-over for Trump and HR1, a deeply corrupt election overhaul that would potentially secure permanent majorities for their own party.
Upon finally getting around to the COVID relief, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.—who repeatedly refused to come to the table during negotiations with the Trump administration—included wish-list items such as an underground transit system for Silicon Valley and foreign aid to China.
Democrats now hope to ram the bill through the evenly-divided Senate using a budget-reconciliation process that would eliminate the need for a 60-vote threshold and allow them to pass it on a party-line basis, barring any defections.
To do so, they were forced to abandon a push to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour, which the Senate parliamentarian, Elizabeth MacDonough, advised would not meet the criteria for a reconciliation bill.
In response, radical Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., called for the nonpartisan, well-respected MacDonough to be fired.
Abolish the filibuster.
Replace the parliamentarian.
What’s a Democratic majority if we can’t pass our priority bills? This is unacceptable.
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) February 26, 2021
However, a handful of Senate Democrats, including Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., have warned that the small-business-wrecking minimum-wage hike, which would disproportionately affect impoverished areas where the cost of living is lower, may be a non-starter.
Democrats likely cannot afford to lose even a single senator given the narrow margin for the highly partisan legislation, which will require Vice President Kamala Harris to cast the tie-breaking vote.