UPDATED 7:35 PM PT – Friday, February 19, 2021
Top House Republicans called on members to vote no on Joe Biden’s coronavirus relief package. On Friday, House GOP Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) vowed to meet with Republicans in the lower chamber to discuss how to combat the nearly $2 trillion package.
Scalise said the “Pelosi Payoff to Progressives Act” aims to jam a liberal agenda through Congress. Republicans in both chambers of Congress fear the bill will keep schools closed, pay Americans to not work as well as bailout floundering blue states.
House GOP Leadership recommending a NO vote on Biden COVID relief package, which comes to floor next week.
Scalise team mockingly calling the legislation the "Pelosi’s Payoff to Progressives Act" pic.twitter.com/PtT2RtJAuY
— Scott Wong (@scottwongDC) February 19, 2021
“What this new pot of hundreds of billions of dollars is actually doing is going to help states that prior to the pandemic, like New York and Illinois, had fundamental fiscal problems,” Sen. Steve Daines (R-Mont.) said. “And I don’t believe Montanans should be footing the bill to help states get out of long-term financial problems.”
The push against the bill came in response to the House Budget Committee’s announcement that members were gearing up to vote.
The package includes extending $400 unemployment benefits to out-of-work Americans and jacking up the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour. Additionally, Democrats hope to push another round of stimulus checks at up to $1,400 per check.
“Do you agree with my assessment that a majority of those checks end up going to people who never had any lost income?” questioned Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.). “And secondly, is your view that it is not constructive to the economy for the government to be just arbitrarily sending money to people who never had any lost income?”
In the meantime, the House Budget Committee is expected to vote on the bill Monday and bring it to the full House later in the week. Democrats in the Senate are hoping to vote on the bill shortly after and to get it to the White House by March 14.