“Leadership recommends a NO vote,” Scalise wrote in the email.
The bill, packaged together by the House Budget Committee, is supposed to be voted on the House floor next week. Democrats on Friday revealed the full text of the 591-page bill, named the “American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.”
Biden has offered $160 billion for vaccines and testing, $170 billion for schools and universities, and funds to provide certain Americans a $1,400-per-person stimulus check, among additional provisions.
Scalise’s team, in the email, entitled the bill as “Pelosi’s Payoff to Progressives Act.” It claimed that Democrats have hurried to bring to the floor the relief package that “will keep schools closed, bail out blue states, pay people not to work, and raise the minimum wage to $15/hour.”
“Republicans insist that we must safely reopen schools, reopen the economy, speed up vaccine distribution, and effectively spend the remaining $1 trillion from previous COVID packages,” the email from Scalise announces. “However, Democrats rejected hundreds of Republican amendments and any efforts to advance bipartisan solutions that are targeted, temporary, and tied to COVID relief.”
Scalise had explained in an opinion piece co-authored with Tim Phillips reported by The Washington Post that more than $1 trillion of previously enacted COVID-19 assistance continues unspent.
“We have no business borrowing an additional $1.9 trillion from our children’s future when all of that remains to be spent to help our country reopen safely,” the two announced.
Scalise’s team stated in the email that “It’s clear Democrats have no interest in approaching COVID relief in a timely and targeted fashion and are instead using the reconciliation process to jam through their liberal wish list agenda.”
Senate rules governing “reconciliation” bills such as this one enable it to move through the chamber by simple majority votes. Most other bills need to have the support of no less than 60 senators at the minimum to clear procedural hurdles.
The email noted 14 provisions in the bill in a list of dot points, which covered a “$350 billion bailout for blue states,” and a projection that the bill would eliminate 1.4 million jobs by raising the national minimum wage by 107 percent to $15 an hour.
The controversial proposal in the House bill attempts to gradually raise the federal minimum wage, now set at $7.25 an hour, to $15 by 2025.