Democrats Accept 2 of 286 Amendments Sought by Republicans for $1.9 Trillion COVID-19 Stimulus Bill

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) speaks at the weekly news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington on Dec. 3, 2020. (Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

Republicans have criticized Democrats for continuing to push their pandemic stimulus package while accepting little to no Republican input. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said Wednesday out of 286 amendments proposed by Republicans for the $1.9 trillion spending package, only two were accepted.

“Republicans offered 286 amendments to President Biden’s massive $1.9 TRILLION spending blowout. Democrats accepted 2 of them. So much for Biden’s calls for ‘unity,’” McCarthy said in a statement.

On Feb. 19, Democrats unveiled the full text of a 591-page bill (pdf) titled the “American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.”

https://www.scribd.com/document/495999748/American-Rescue-Plan-Act-of-2021

House Republicans held a press conference on Wednesday in which they voiced their opposition to the Democrats’ “rescue” package that includes many items that have little to do with pandemic relief.

Rep. Jason Smith (R-Mo.), who serves as the Republican Leader of the House Budget Committee, called the $1.9 trillion package a liberal “wish list” because so little of the total funds are going to fighting the effects of the pandemic.

“It’s very simple. We’re here today because Pelosi, Schumer, and Biden decided to use a pandemic to push forward a progressive wish list; items to reward political allies, friends, and donors at the expense of the American working class,” Smith said.

He said that less than 9 percent of the $1.9 trillion is allocated for COVID health spending and only 5 percent is marked to fund the extra needs at schools amid the pandemic.

“Why is it that this package spends more than 25%, according to the Congressional Budget Office, on items that kill millions of jobs,” he added.

The Republican Study Committee (RSC), the largest conservative caucus on Capitol Hill, released a fact-sheet on items “Democrats are hoping the public won’t find about [sic]” that are included in President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus bill.

Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.), the RSC’s newly elected chairman, said in a memo sent to caucus members that Democrats have included items of “special interest pork and other liberal goodies” in the proposal.

“If that’s not bad enough, Nancy Pelosi plugged in a $200 million earmark for an underground tunnel in San Francisco for Silicone Valley employees,” Banks said. “This is a bailout to the special interest groups that gave them power.”

Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) said another reason why the GOP will oppose the package is because it does not help get kids back to school full time.

“That’s not what this $1.9 trillion liberal wish list, giveaway bill does and that’s why we’re strongly opposing it, and we’re also pushing to expose just what is really in this bill,” he said.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said the $1.9 trillion package will provide “bold COVID relief to Americans nationwide” and criticized Republicans for obstructing Democrat efforts.

“Republican leaders are reportedly ‘maneuvering’ to get every single Republican member to oppose urgent, bold COVID relief. Every single one! Make no mistake: Democrats are working to quickly deliver the American Rescue Plan and big, bold COVID relief,” Schumer said.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said the Democrat’s rescue package was not addressing the issues that would help reopen the economy.

“Only about 1% of the Democrats’ partisan plan goes to vaccines. Only about 5% of its K-12 funding would even go out this fiscal year. Democrats are not addressing the urgent needs of a re-opening America. They started with a preconceived liberal wish-list and worked backward,” McConnell said.

Source: Democrats Accept 2 of 286 Amendments Sought by Republicans for $1.9 Trillion COVID-19 Stimulus Bill

2020 Election Fiasco Favored Dems, So Congress Is Trying To Make Sloppiness Permanent

2020 Election Fiasco Favored Democrats, So Now Congress Is Working To Make Sloppiness Permanent

A new congressional bill seeks to grant Democrats the power to overhaul state election processes and impose new regulations on political advertisements and donors, granting Congress “ultimate supervisory power over federal elections.”

https://www.scribd.com/document/494081104/117th-CONGRESS-1st-Session-H-R-1-as-Introduced

Democrats introduced the new 800-page “For The People Act of 2021” in early January with the hopes that their control in the House of Representatives and possibly the Senate would allow for swift passage of the bill. The legislation is packaged as an anti-corruption reform bill, marketed by its sponsors, corporate media outlets, and other activist institutions as a way to “expand Americans’ access to the ballot box, reduce the influence of big money in politics, strengthen ethics rules for public servants.”

Some of the measures in the bill, however, include eliminating the opportunity for states to protect themselves against the modifications weaponized in the 2020 election, such as preventing restrictions on vote-by-mail and imposing voter ID laws.  Those measures also give the federal government control over political speech online by expanding the definition of electioneering communications and expose political and nonprofit donors’ information to the public in connection to the causes they support.

Critics of the legislation are cautioning against the bill’s attempts to overhaul election processes, saying it hurts Americans’ trust in the voting systems created by their states and infringes on their privacy as political donors.

One month after Democrat Rep. John Sarbanes of Maryland introduced the bill, a group of nine former Federal Elections Commission officials wrote a letter to congressional leadership urging them to consider the ramifications of the potential law on the bipartisan elections agency, including removing a member from the six-person body to gain “partisan control.”

“Proponents claim this radical change is necessary to prevent ‘deadlock’ on the Commission and assure efficient operations. This perception of perpetual deadlock is incorrect. … Political actors who violate campaign finance laws, and their partisans, are often quick to denounce enforcement as a ‘partisan witch hunt,’” the letter states. “The FEC’s bipartisan makeup is a direct response to this claim and is fundamental to public confidence in the system.”

A coalition letter led by People United For Privacy and signed by 130 organizations also expressed concerns with the bill’s provisions requiring federal record and public exposure of citizens’ private donations to nonprofits and other organizations, expanding the definition of “electioneering communications” to police online ads, and forcing the disclosure of past donations from political appointments.

“Our elections will not be more honest, more informed, or more secure from foreign interference if we sacrifice the privacy of American citizens. But our democracy will be weakened if voices are eliminated from public debate through intimidation and overregulation,” the letter states.

Not only would the various acts included in the legislation provide opportunities for harassment and bullying, some warn, but it would also impose “excessive” burdens on organizations that want to run political advertisements.

“It puts excessive regulation on these nonprofit organizations that they don’t currently have in terms of running ads and for smaller organizations, especially that have limited resources. This really just could kill their ability to advocate on the causes that they care about,” Heather Lauer, executive director for People United for Privacy, told The Federalist. “So those are kind of the things that we’re focused on, the things that impact an individual’s First Amendment rights as a donor as well as the things that impact the ability of nonprofit organizations to speak on behalf of donors on issues of importance.”

Source: 2020 Election Fiasco Favored Dems, So Congress Is Trying To Make Sloppiness Permanent