Walorski: Partisan $1.9 Trillion Spending Bill Is Not Emergency COVID Relief
$1 Trillion in Existing COVID Relief Funding Remains Unspent; Less Than 9% of New Funding Would Go to Fight COVID
WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) today released the following statement after voting against final passage of Speaker Pelosi’s $1.9 trillion reconciliation bill:
“Safe and effective vaccines have given Americans renewed hope that we can soon end the pandemic, rebuild our economy, and get our lives back to normal. But instead of working with Republicans on bipartisan solutions, Democrats exploited the crisis to check off items on their progressive wish-list.
“The fact is Speaker Pelosi’s $1.9 trillion spending bill – with less than 9 percent going to fight coronavirus – isn’t emergency COVID relief at all. More than a third of the new funding won’t even be spent this fiscal year because $1 trillion in existing relief still hasn’t been used.
“This partisan legislation will force Hoosier taxpayers to bail out states like California and fund elective abortions. But it won’t do what our country needs right now: defeat coronavirus, get Americans back to work, and help small businesses recover.”
H.R. 1319 would add $1.9 trillion in spending, even as more than $1 trillion in existing COVID relief funding remains unspent. Congresswoman Walorski last month cosponsored a resolution requesting information from the Biden administration about funding from previous relief measures that has not been used.
Despite claims the massive reconciliation bill is needed as an emergency COVID relief measure, more than one-third of the funding would not be spent until fiscal year 2022 or later, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO). The legislation includes a $350 billion bailout for state and local governments, while less than 9 percent of the $1.9 trillion would go to public health efforts to combat coronavirus.
The House passed H.R. 1319 by a vote of 220 to 211. The bill now heads to President Biden’s desk for his signature.
Video of Walorski speaking on the House floor last month in opposition to the $1.9 trillion spending bill that fails to account for $1 trillion in unspent relief funds is available here.
H.R. 1319 also excludes longstanding protections against taxpayer funding for elective abortion. Without Hyde protections in the reconciliation package, more than $414 billion in taxpayer dollars could potentially be used to pay for elective abortions or plans that cover elective abortions.
Before the House first passed H.R. 1319, Congresswoman Walorski joined her colleagues in introducing an amendment to include Hyde protections in the $1.9 trillion reconciliation bill to prohibit taxpayer dollars from funding abortions. Walorski previously offered a similar amendment in the House Ways and Means Committee. House Democrats rejected both amendments.
The full text of the Rodgers-Foxx-Walorski amendment can be found here.
Video of Walorski speaking on the House floor last month about the lack of pro-life Hyde protections in the bill is available here.
Walorski represents the 2nd Congressional District of Indiana, serving as a member of the House Ways and Means Committee and the Ranking Member of the House Ethics Committee.