“NO” on The 2020 Christmas Wish-List
Club for Growth opposes COVID Relief package and Omnibus appropriations bill agreed upon yesterday by the four leaders of the House and Senate and urges all Representatives and Senators to vote no on the legislation. If the agreement is divided into two votes, Club for Growth will key vote NO on BOTH votes. The legislative package will be considered soon in the United States House of Representatives and United States Senate. The result of the vote (or votes) will be included in the Club for Growth Foundation’s 2020 Congressional Scorecard.
This legislation is another example of Congress taking advantage of legislating by crisis and taking short-cuts in the legislative process in order to pass a bill that has not been reviewed by the American people, nor many Members. Although an agreement by Congressional leadership has been announced, there is not currently legislative text for Members of Congress and the public to review. This legislation is expected to only be available for a few hours before it will be voted on.
According to a summary document released by Speaker Pelosi and Minority Leader Schumer, this bipartisan deal will spend around $900 billion on a myriad of issues including climate change reforms, rental assistances, the low-income housing tax credit, a tax credit for paid sick leave, increased food stamp benefits, a renewal and extension of unemployment benefits, education, an expansion of Pell Grants, internet access, global health money, money for vaccines, the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), and stimulus checks. Stimulus spending is never good for economic growth. Although the Senate Majority Leader has called on both parties to “pass everything that we can agree to” many of these issues have not received broad support within the Senate Majority or House Minority. Perhaps this is why the Senate Majority and House Minority have not yet released a similar summary document touting the so-called “wins” they extracted in the negotiations.
The deal provides for $82 billion for colleges and schools. Education bureaucrats should not be rewarded with billions of dollars when many schools are not offering in-person educational opportunities. Instead, the money should be directed to families and students to ensure all K-12 students have access to high-quality education.
Club for Growth also opposes a federal extension of unemployment benefits. Instead, Congress should prioritize funding for the distribution of a vaccine so that a more normal life may more quickly return to the world.
For highly distressed businesses, the Paycheck Protection Program has served as a lifeline. But millions of jobs and businesses have been lost to the COVID pandemic. For those businesses and job creators, this legislation does nothing to incentivize new business formation.
Over the past 9 months, the House Majority has too often politicized the coronavirus pandemic in order to enact its political agenda in elections. Speaker Pelosi’s willingness to cut a smaller deal now than the previous $3 trillion wish-list she demanded earlier this summer is evidence that Democrats intend to continue to push for trillions in stimulus spending that will bankrupt the economy in 2021.
The legislative package will also include an Omnibus appropriations bill that will fund the discretionary appropriations elements of the federal government through September 30, 2021. Again, the legislative text for this huge pillar of the bipartisan deal is not available at the time this key vote alert was published. Members of Congress and the American people should have the ability to scrutinize this legislation and determine which special interests are being funded, whether there are any Congressional earmarks included, and what other anomalies are tucked into the pages of a thousand-page bill. If history is any evidence to that question, the answer will certainly be yes.
The Federal Government is way too big and intrusive. And 2020, punctuated by this spending bill, has watched the Congress incur more deficit spending that ever before. Prior to COVID, revenue was at a record level, but while some revenues slowed due to lockdowns enforced by States and local governments bureaucrats, the American people have suffered. Purposeful in their agenda, liberals have attempted to turn America into chaos. Christmas is no time to reward such nasty behavior.
But there is a way forward. The American people are resilient and our economy is built on the willingness to engage in business activity, take risks, and invoke the entrepreneurial spirit of the job creator. As many businesses are taking steps to adjust to the circumstances facing their business due to the pandemic, government needs to remove tax and regulatory burdens that are preventing people from conducting business. Because this bill does none of that, President Trump should veto it.
Club for Growth Foundation’s Congressional Scorecard for the 116th Congress provides a comprehensive rating of how well or how poorly each member of Congress supports pro-growth, free-market policies and will be distributed to the public.