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Smith: “COVID-19 is more the pretext than the purpose behind what Democrats are proposing.” – House Budget Committee

WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Friday, the Democrats on the House Budget Committee posted the legislative text of a reconciliation package to be considered at the House Budget Committee this coming Monday, February 22, 2021. The package calls for approximately $2 trillion in spending, supposedly to respond to the immediate threat of today’s COVID-19 pandemic. However, after excluding stimulus payments to individuals, almost half of the bill would not be spent until Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 or later – specifically $670 billion or 45 percent would not be spent until FY22 or later. $140 billion would not be spent until FY24 or later. For example:

  • Of the $130 billion in the bill for K-12 schools, only 5 percent ($6 billion) would be spent this fiscal year.
  • Of the $5 billion for Emergency Housing Vouchers, only 5 percent ($250 million) would be spent this fiscal year.
  • Of the $39 billion for childcare, only 19 percent ($8 billion) would be spent this fiscal year.
  • Of the $50 billion for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, only 23 percent ($11 billion) would be spent this fiscal year.
  • Of the entire Education & Labor Committee component of the package, only 12 percent ($35 billion) would be spent this fiscal year.
  • None of the $5 billion for Homeless Assistance would be spent this fiscal year.

“Democrats are rushing to pass a nearly $2 trillion spending bill that will enact bailouts for state governments that lockdown their citizens and radical policies that will destroy jobs and raise the cost-of-living for working class Americans. But that is clearly where any sort of urgency on their part ends,” said House Budget Committee Republican Leader Jason Smith (MO-08). “This is all just further proof that COVID-19 is more the pretext than the purpose behind what Democrats are proposing. Their approach is the wrong plan, at the wrong time, for all the wrong reasons.”

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