Upton: COVID-19 relief deal should be bipartisan and targeted
Washington, February 5, 2021 | Josh Paciorek (202-225-3761)
WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Rep. Fred Upton (R-St. Joseph) issued the following statement after House Democrats today voted 219-209 to move forward with a budget outline that clears the way to pass President Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package without Republican support.
"The American people need help - we all agree on that. But I strongly disagree with Speaker Pelosi's and the Administration's decision to move forward with a partisan effort and ignore our calls to work with Republicans to produce a truly bipartisan deal. This is a bad start for the Administration's calls for unity
It was less than six weeks ago when we passed a $900 billion deal that delivered immediate relief. Without identifying what monies have been spent, what is working, and what areas need more help, we are simply throwing more money at the problem without identifying what would be most impactful.
The nearly $2 trillion package being jammed through Congress should be targeted. I support additional stimulus checks that are more targeted, resources to expedite the vaccine rollout, support for states and local governments, and liability protections for small businesses. But for Democrats to move forward strictly along party lines - without giving us time to really study what would be the most effective in helping southwest Michigan and the American people - is certainly disappointing."
Since March, Congress has enacted five bipartisan packages in response to the public health and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. These bills were the result of good faith negotiations and have provided unprecedented resources to help American families, hospitals, and businesses navigate this crisis. Critically, these packages demonstrated that congressional lawmakers were capable of overcoming partisan gridlock and taking decisive action in response to the most significant public health emergency of our lifetime.