WASHINGTON — The U.S. House passed the $1.9 trillion “American Rescue Plan” Wednesday, the sixth round of congressional coronavirus response. A paltry 9% of the stimulus will be spent on actual public health measures. The bill is a wish list of the left that has very little to do with reducing the spread of the virus. Matthew Dickerson, director of Heritage’s Grover M. Hermann Center for the Federal Budget, released the following statement Tuesday in response to the measure:
“Instead of addressing recovery with temporary and targeted spending to provide necessary resources for testing and vaccine distribution, Congress passed its sixth and largest ‘COVID relief’ bill.
“This bill is almost entirely wasteful spending that prioritizes the left’s pet projects, such as bailing out pensions suffering from decades of mismanagement, and sending taxpayer money to states that don’t need it. The bill includes a wish list of unrelated left-wing priorities, including what could become the second-largest expansion of means-tested welfare entitlements in U.S. history, propping up Obamacare through more subsidies, and reducing any incentive to reopen our economy by rewarding states with the most draconian economic restrictions.
“The legislation extends unemployment insurance, which the numbers show will actually push unemployment higher, and spends more than $400 billion in so called ‘stimulus’ checks to Americans regardless of job status or need. This is not a responsible way to help America recover from the pandemic, nor to protect American lives and livelihoods.”
Instead of recklessly adding to the national debt, lawmakers should focus on temporary and targeted measures to address the pandemic directly and to remove government barriers for a pro-growth and safe reopening of our economy and a return to normalcy for Americans everywhere.
Last year, The Heritage Foundation’s National Coronavirus Recovery Commission outlined 265 recommendations for government leaders at every level, the private sector, and civil society to move America prudently toward recovery.