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McHenry: We Need to Deliver Temporary, Targeted, and COVID-Related Relief to the People Who Need It Most

McHenry: We Need to Deliver Temporary, Targeted, and COVID-Related Relief to the People Who Need It Most

February 10, 2021 

Today, the top Republican on the House Financial Services Committee, Patrick McHenry (NC-10,) delivered the following opening remarks at the full Committee markup of a portion of President Biden’s $1.9 trillion so-called stimulus package. 

Click HERE to watch Republican Leader McHenry’s opening remarks.

Read Republican Leader McHenry’s Opening Remarks as prepared for delivery:

“I thank the Chair for yielding. 

“Lawmakers shouldn’t be in the business of guessing.

Yet we’re here today discussing a so-called plan that is not backed by facts, data, or expected outcome.

“Now look, I’ll give my friends across the aisle this—we don’t have the facts yet to guide additional COVID relief. 

To be clear, we know there are sectors of our workforce still hurting—and Republicans want to provide support where it’s needed—but this package goes far beyond that scope.

“As a reminder, it’s been a little over six weeks since we passed the last COVID relief package. There is still money going out the door and programs are still being stood up. 

“Not to mention, the Administration hasn’t provided the necessary data for lawmakers to make an informed decision on where to send additional funds. 

“So, the fact is, until we have that information, we’re guessing. 

“That’s not what the American people need. It helps no one for us to say “well, we hope schools will reopen if we spend more money” or “we think bottomless stimulus will get our economy back up and running” or “programs that didn’t work before might work this time.”

“Hurting families need a plan, not placation.

“We need people to feel safe enough to go out to a restaurant, or to the movies, or on a trip to visit grandparents. We need kids back in classrooms, not just for the sake of their education and mental health, but for the single parent who can’t search for a job until they have childcare. 

“Bottomline, we need to deliver temporary, targeted, and COVID-related relief to the people who need it most. 

“Here’s what we do know: So far, we have come together five times to provide more than $3.5 trillion in support. Congress’ actions staved off the worst of this economic crisis.

“Next, we know that our economy is recovering. Consider this, the unemployment rate is better now than it was in the first five and a half years of the Obama Administration.

“Compare what’s been done now with the approximately $800 billion spent in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in response to the 2008 financial crisis, which was the worst economic crisis of our lifetimes.

“Despite my colleagues’ claims, it is possible to do too much. In fact, there is bipartisan agreement that this additional $1.9 trillion package could overheat the economy.

Unfortunately, that’s where the bipartisanship stops. While we are only marking up a portion of the $1.9 trillion package, this would codify numerous partisan priorities, including duplicative rental assistance to funnel money toward non-COVID purposes and restarts the ineffective Obama-era State Small Business Credit Initiative. 

So today, Committee Republicans will work to make this package better. 

“In fact, I expect there will be many opportunities for Democrats to join Republicans in our commonsense efforts to target this bill toward those most in need. 

“I’ll leave my friends across the aisle with this warning: do not embody the quote, “they had learned nothing, and forgotten nothing.”

Pushing partisan programs and ideas that have had no demonstrable impact on the American people is at the least, unnecessary, and at the worst, harmful to the recovery effort.

“The desire to defeat this pandemic transcends politics. But guessing what will accomplish this and knowing yield very different outcomes.

 We know safely reopening our economy, getting kids back in classrooms, and distributing vaccinations will work.

“Time spent laboring over anything else only delays the relief we could be providing.

“I yield back.” 


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