Today, I voted against the $1.9 trillion spending bill passed by Senate Democrats. Earlier this week I spoke on the Senate floor in opposition of this bill.
Watch my floor speech here.
When COVID-19 hit our nation last year, Congress confronted the unprecedented crisis we faced and came together on a bipartisan basis to pass five bipartisan COVID relief packages totaling over $4 trillion. We set aside our partisan differences for the good of the country and refused to allow perfection to become the enemy of the good, and the results were extraordinary.
Unfortunately, Democrats have managed to turn the one uniting force in Congress into just another partisan, divisive political issue of the day. Instead of continuing the bipartisan momentum on COVID assistance, Senate Majority Leader Schumer and Speaker Pelosi chose a partisan path that resulted in divisive legislation that’s more focused on ramming through far-left initiatives instead of providing targeted relief to help small businesses, re-open schools, and end this pandemic so we can return to life as normal as soon as possible.
This is evident when considering that in this $1.9 trillion spending bill, only 9% of it is used on public health to defeat COVID-19. Democrats are, however, spending triple that amount of money – more than half a trillion – to bail out poorly run states like New York and California, states that had financial issues well before the pandemic hit. One would expect a real COVID relief bill to re-open schools as students across the country have fallen behind because they haven’t had in-person instruction for a year. Instead, 95% of the new school money will be spent from 2022 to 2028, and in total, more than $700 billion of the funding in this bill won’t be spent until 2022 or later.
The reality is we still have more than $1 trillion of unspent funds from the previous COVID relief bills, which is why I co-introduced an amendment with 10 of my Republican colleagues that would have allocated $650 billion in targeted relief spending that would help those who need it most and provided the funds necessary to respond to the pandemic, including expanding testing and deploying vaccines.
Instead, my Democratic colleagues pushed their partisan spending bill through the Senate and put an end to the bipartisan spirit of COVID relief that produced results over the past year. I am disappointed the Congressional Democrats and the Biden Administration chose this path while promising to work on a bipartisan basis over the past year, particularly when they had 10 Republicans willing to work on compromise legislation. I am committed to reaching bipartisan outcomes on behalf of the people of North Carolina, and I hope we can return to finding areas of agreement instead of ramming through extreme policy outcomes."
Thank you for reading, and as always, please reach out to my office if you have any questions or need help with a federal agency. God bless.