Tri-state lawmakers react to Senate passing COVID-19 relief bill


In this image from video, Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., the president pro tempore of the Senate, presides during debate on the Senate COVID-19 relief bill in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Saturday, March 6, 2021. (Senate Television via AP)

(KCAU) – Lawmakers from the tri-state area have released statements regarding the Senate passing a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill on Saturday.

Below are statements from South Dakota lawmakers:

Democrats used the guise of COVID-19 relief to further their left-wing agenda while putting our nation deeper into debt. I voted against this partisan $1.9 trillion spending bill that reads more like a liberal wish list than targeted pandemic relief. Up until this point, we have always found a way to work together on a bipartisan basis to provide COVID-19 relief for the American people. None of the previous five pandemic relief bills received fewer than 90 votes in the United States Senate. This is the first bill that did not pass either chamber with bipartisan support. In fact, it had bipartisan opposition in the House of Representatives. My colleagues and I offered a reasonable conservative alternative that targeted relief to those directly impacted by the pandemic and was one-third the price. Unfortunately, Democrats were unwilling to compromise. The legislation passed today is not targeted and is not specific, but rather includes many giveaways to left-wing causes.

South Dakota Republican Senator Mike Rounds

Despite President Biden’s promises for unity and bipartisan cooperation, the first major bill considered in his presidency is a partisan and wasteful spending bill disguised as ‘COVID relief.’ One trillion dollars from previous bipartisan COVID bills remains unspent, and much of the spending in this bill won’t be spent until long after we expect to be emerging from the pandemic. Less than 10 percent of the Democrats’ $1.9 trillion spending package goes directly to public health funding to end the COVID-19 pandemic, and just one percent is dedicated to getting vaccines to the American people. This is the first COVID bill to be done in an entirely partisan way, because it isn’t designed to end the pandemic – it is a blatant attempt from Democrats to jam through a partisan wish list.

South Dakota Republican Senator John Thune

Below are statements from Nebraska lawmakers:

This weekend’s spending is bigger than the entire annual economy of Canada, yet only one percent of it is vaccine-related. Here’s how midnight spending bills go down: Senators hide a bunch of crap behind titles like ‘The Cuddly Puppies Act,’ and then say anybody voting against it hates puppies. This $1.9 trillion ’emergency’ bill is overwhelmingly non-emergency — we should’ve just bought Canada too.

Nebraska Republican Senator Ben Sasse

I voted against President Biden’s stimulus because the bill represented a strictly partisan, progressive wish list filled with items unrelated to aiding our recovery from COVID-19. In the last year, $4 trillion has been provided for relief with about $1 trillion still unspent.”

Nebraska Republican Senator Deb Fischer

Below are statements from Iowa lawmakers:

Congress has worked together in a bipartisan way to pass five COVID relief bills during this pandemic, but this time was wholly different. The process was partisan from the get-go. While I worked to make this bill better for Iowans and all Americans, it was still stuffed full of non-COVID related spending, from partisan pet projects to Democratic Party wish list items—like a slush fund to bail out mismanaged blue states. Distributing the vaccine, reopening schools, and getting Iowans back to work and our economy up and running should have been the main focus of this bill. Instead, Democrats turned their back on bipartisanship for their own political interests and party priorities and shoved through this nearly $2 trillion bill without any Republican support.

Iowa Republican Senator Joni Ernst

Over the past year, Congress passed five bipartisan COVID relief bills on a bipartisan basis, totaling more than $4 trillion. We are fully capable of doing it again, and doing it quickly. Unfortunately, Congressional Democrats have opted to go it alone, and it’s come with a cost. The CARES Act, which delivered significant COVID relief in the early and uncertain days of this crisis, was developed, debated and passed in a matter of days. At best, the partisan process adopted by the Democrats is designed to take weeks. The 11 hours of Democrat infighting that kicked off the Senate’s debate on this bill is exhibit A why focusing on partisan priorities rather than consensus is ill-advised. All the while, Americans in need are left waiting. We could have delivered the same amount of COVID relief in half the time with a third of the cost to the taxpayer, and it would have been bipartisan. But the Democrats insisted on jamming through a partisan agenda untethered to real relief as Americans wait for help. That’s no way to govern.

Iowa Republican Senator Chuck Grassley

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