Republican Rep. Devin Nunes revealed what the Democrat led $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief bill really is – claiming that the bill has “very little to do with COVID relief.”
Nunes appeared on Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures” and told host Mcoivd aria Bartiromo that the proposal was a Trojan horse – adding that Democrats will use it as a slush fund to buy votes over the next four years.
“This is a slush fund in order to buy votes that Biden can use over the next four years,” Nunes said. “It’s a Trojan horse with $2 trillion in it so they can build things like a goofy high-speed rail that they haven’t even completed.”
Nunes was referring to a high-speed rail project in California that was granted billions of dollars over a decade ago under an Obama-era stimulus program during the 2009 recession.
He likened that project to the current proposal’s inclusion of more than $100 million for an underground rail project in Silicon Valley that would expand the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) underneath San Jose.
“I think the American people know that doesn’t have anything to do with COVID relief,” Nunes said.
The House passed its version of the relief proposal with a vote of 219-212 around 2 a.m. Saturday.
No Republicans backed the bill and two Democrats – U.S. Reps. Jared Golden of Maine and Kurt Schrader of Oregon – voted against their party’s plan.
Golden, one of the two Democrats who voted against the stimulus bill, argued on Saturday that the bill should have been bipartisan.
“I like to often remind myself that just because you can do something doesn’t mean that you should. It doesn’t mean that it’s in the best interest of the country,” Golden told The Hill in an interview.
“I guess I would say that I don’t think it was in the best interest of the country. I think that we have ended up with worse public policy as a result, rather than a more targeted bill that would come out of a bipartisan process,” he said.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy also argued that the majority of the proposed package addresses ‘non-COVID’ goals.
McCarthy has derided the nearly $2 trillion proposal as “Pelosi’s Payoff Bill,” noting that “the amount of money that actually goes to defeating the virus is less than 9 percent.”
The proposal contains a third $1,400 stimulus check for Americans earning less than $75,000 annually, increases jobless benefits to $400 a week through the end of August, expands the child tax credit to up to $3,600 per child, includes $350 billion for state and local government funding and allocates $170 billion for K-12 schools and higher education institutions to cover reopening costs.
Tucked into the House bill was also the Democrat’s plan to gradually increase the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2025 – an effort many Republicans rejected.
McCarthy slammed bill early Saturday, summing it up as extremely corrupt, costly, and “just so liberal.”
“We have done five other COVID bills and every single one of them was bipartisan,” McCarthy told Fox News host Maria Bartiromo on Sunday morning. “The Biden administration has become the most partisan administration in modern history.”
“We still have a trillion dollars sitting out there that has to be appropriated — sent to the economy. The money in this bill for schools, 95% of it won’t even go out this fiscal year, two-thirds of it won’t go out until 2023. The real focus here should be putting people back to work, back to school, and back to health,” said McCarthy.
McCarthy added that the only bipartisan part of the entire legislative process happened when two House Democrats joined Republican lawmakers in voting against the White-House backed bill.
“The Democrats only have a five-seat majority. They just spent almost two trillion dollars in the most partisan way you can,” remarked the House minority leader.