Congress Labels Bill “COVID Relief” to Cover the Pork-Barreled Behemoth It Truly Is

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Charlotte, NC — Late yesterday, Congress passed a pork-filled monstrosity and called it COVID relief, believing that a $600 check would satiate most Americans and keep them from looking deeper into the bill’s content.

In most years, that might be true, but during a year in which a great part of the country has been locked down for nine months, in which millions have lost their jobs, businesses, and more; the hypocrisy and corruption of our elected “leaders” have been fully revealed.

The first bill bought Congress a few months in which it brought the problems with the bill into full view.  House Democrats didn’t make a serious push for any type of targeted bill because they were adamantly opposed to giving President Trump a PR victory.  Their hatred of a single man was more passionate and important that providing relief for the American people they claim to serve.

Currently, coronavirus cases are spiking across the country with blue states, like California and New York, leading the way despite their draconian shutdown orders that have forced millions toward the brink of bankruptcy.  But since Joe Biden has allegedly won the election, Nancy Pelosi and her cronies are suddenly willing to work on passing some kind of relief.

Of course, once the text of the bill was available, journalists, pundits, and the American people all delved into its contents and started itemizing all of the pork contained in what politicians from both sides of the aisle were claiming was a “COVID stimulus bill” or “COVID relief bill.”

It’s as if the bill’s main intent was to fund a bunch of foreign countries and, because Congress is so generous, told those countries to keep the change.  Sadly, the bill’s main purpose wasn’t COVID relief or economic stimulus.

According to CNET, the new economic relief bill — which Congress merged with funding for next year’s federal budget — will send a second stimulus check topping out at $600 to each eligible adult and a flat sum of $600 per qualifying child age 16 years and younger. That’s a change from the cap of $1,200 per adult and $500 per child dependent, from the first round of payments.

Individuals will receive the full $600 if their AGI is under $75,000, the their payment will start start to decline as their yearly income goes up. For heads of household, the AGI is $112,500, and for those married and filing jointly the number is $150,000. Here’s a breakdown of the qualification requirements for the second stimulus check and some information about how much money you might be able to get.

Meanwhile, the $160 billion Bipartisan State and Local Support and Small Business Protection Act of 2020 provides liability insurance for businesses and funding for state, local and tribal aid.

$748 billion includes unemployment insurance extension plus-up, testing, vaccines, education, PPP.  $160 billion includes state & local funding distributed in three needs-based tranches. And liability protections from Dec 2019 to the end of COVID-19.

Once the House and Senate approve the bill and President Donald Trump signs into law, the new stimulus package will send a second stimulus check of up to $600 to qualifying adults and their dependent children — but not dependent adults.  It would also renew a handful of government benefits set to expire starting this week, including federal unemployment financial support, rental assistance and an eviction ban.

The formal name of the Foreign Countries Investment Act is actually the “Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021.”  If Congress had not passed this bill, the government would have shut down.

In actuality, the COVID relief was something tacked onto another bill, not the other way around.  Still, there is a lot to detest about the bill and about the way it was negotiated.

Horrific programs have been funded because Members of Congress didn’t want to look like uncaring elitists during Christmas week when so many are suffering during what is supposed to be a joyous time of year.  Even so, Republicans never should have signed onto this with the American people receiving so little and foreign countries receiving so much!  This is a true slap in the face.

Additionally, any Republican lawmaker who appears for an interview to discuss this dumpster fire should say some version of the following:  “Democrats hatred of President Trump is the biggest reason why we are here now!” every chance they get!

Texas senator Ted Cruz (R) illustrated the problems with this method of legislation in a Facebook post late Monday:

“Though the mainstream media and lobbyists will hail this legislative monstrosity as a tremendous victory, make no mistake: urgently-needed COVID-19 relief was tied to a $1.4 trillion wasteful end-of-year spending bill and countless pet projects that will escape close scrutiny because three times, congressional Democrats rejected good faith efforts to pass targeted relief.

With new shutdown orders targeting small businesses and disproportionately affecting minority and low-income workers, many Americans remain out of work and unable to make ends meet. According to one study, one in four small business owners will close their doors if economic conditions don’t improve soon.

Had this bill been solely focused on re-opening the economy, getting Americans back to work, and jump starting a recovery, it would have had my enthusiastic support. For example, the final COVID-19 package rejects Democrats’ misguided attempts to bail out blue states’ underfunded pension plans and replenishes the Paycheck Protection Program – which will go a long way in helping small businesses keep their doors open and employees on the payroll.

It also includes funding for vaccine procurement and distribution, and will support states in their efforts to expand testing. With two vaccines already distributed to Americans across the country, these are meaningful developments as we work to defeat this virus, re-open our country, and continue to grow our economy. But they should have been passed in a standalone bill months ago, instead of in a bloated package thrown together during the annual year-end taxpayer funded spending spree.”

Standalone bill is a perfect descriptor.  Something as significant as a global pandemic, economic turmoil, and a new vaccine, this bill should not include some of the provisions it does.  It is not the American people’s responsibility to send billions to foreign governments!  Full stop!

Senator Cruz continued, noting the things Democrats held hostage and items that were simply funding “swamp lobbyists”:

Unfortunately, this behemoth did not end there.

Generations of Americans are already stuck with a $27 trillion national debt, and Washington politicians are indiscriminately adding to the tab. This nearly 5,600-page spending package fails to make any meaningful spending cuts and instead advances the interests of the radical Left, special interests, and swamp lobbyists, with funding going towards expanding authority for more H-2B visas for foreign workers while a near record number of Americans remain unemployed, as well as laying the ground work for Democrats to implement the ‘Green New Deal’ by claiming a ‘need’ to meet the power demand in the United States through clean, renewable, or zero-emission energy sources.

Unfortunately, in addition to badly needed coronavirus relief, Democrats held hostage important national security and military measures to pass their liberal wish list, including support for weapons systems like the F-35 and B-21 bomber programs, which I have consistently fought for, as well as missile defense technologies that we work with our Israeli allies to develop for our mutual safety. Finally, this legislation included several measures related to international diplomacy that I have championed, from ensuring that our allies in Europe, Middle East, and Western Hemisphere have the resources to defend themselves, all the way to requiring that the State Department revisit its guidelines that undermine our Taiwanese allies by, among others things, prohibiting them from displaying symbols of their sovereignty.”

Additionally, Cruz went on to say that he “would have also enthusiastically voted for the Water Resource Development Act, which is critical for the construction of the Port of Houston’s ship channel expansion project, a port that supports roughly 3.2 million jobs.”

“These are important proposals and they should not have been muddied by this multi-trillion dollar mess. Like I’ve said before, this haphazard spending process is yet another example of the brokenness of Congress,” he continued.

Bottom line, Congress took their eyes off the ball by worrying more about their pet programs and special interests to reward post-election than about the families suffering across the country.

Cruz agreed saying, “Far too many parents also remain unable to send their children to school. An entire generation of students’ education has been put on hold, as children and teachers alike have been left to navigate the challenges of distance learning. And yet this bill does nothing to expand school choice or empower families with the flexibility they need to support their children’s education. In fact, just the opposite – in a bad sign for America’s kids and the state of the U.S. education system during the pandemic, this bill delays NAEP, the national school assessment testing.”

Simply put, Democrats exploited the need for relief to advance their political agenda instead of working on legislation that puts our nation on the path to recovery.  Now more than ever, our focus should be on providing parents and families support for their children’s education as they’re struggling with school disruptions during this pandemic, empowering small businesses to re-hire their employees and re-open their rdoors by cutting taxes and rolling back burdensome federal regulations, and reining in out of control spending that further exacerbates the economic challenges we’re currently facing.

Cruz also said that “these are the priorities I’ll continue to fight for in the Senate, because these are the priorities of the American people.”

President Trump should veto this bill and tell Congress to stay in town through Christmas to get the job done and, for once this year, actually step up for the American people!

This bill should NEVER become law!  Period!

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