Moolenaar Votes Against $1.9 Trillion Bill That Leaves Students Behind and Lets Schools Stay Closed
Today, Congressman John Moolenaar voted against House Democrats’ $1.9 trillion bill. The legislation is being called COVID relief by Democrats. However, less than nine percent of the legislation goes toward funding vaccine distribution, testing supplies, and fighting the mental health crisis that has been caused by state-imposed restrictions across the country.
Republicans have proposed an alternative, called the Crush the Virus Act, that would fund vaccine distribution, provide services to address the mental health crisis, and support rural hospitals. Congressman Moolenaar supported this legislation, but it was defeated by Democrats.
Meanwhile, more than a trillion dollars from the bipartisan relief packages passed last year remains unspent, and the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office reported last month that ninety-five percent of the school aid in the House Democrats' legislation today won't even be used this year to re-open schools.
“Nearly all of this legislation passed by the Democrats is a pork barrel list of priorities that is unrelated to the pandemic,” said Congressman Moolenaar. “Ninety-five percent of the money that is in this bill for schools will not even be used this year. So Democrats are taking the money from taxpayers now and not even giving it to schools until years later. Republicans have repeatedly proposed legislation requiring schools to re-open immediately, but Democrats have rejected it despite clear evidence school closures are hurting students, with an increased risk of suicide and a decline in academic performance.
“In this bill, Democrats are also giving a bailout to failed New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and other financially troubled states for reckless decisions they made before the pandemic. Michigan ended last year with a $3.7 billion surplus and our residents shouldn’t be bailing out New York, Illinois and California for those states' bad financial decisions.”
“Last year, I supported bipartisan relief packages that provided direct relief for Michigan families, small businesses, and health care providers during this pandemic. A year later, there is still a trillion dollars left over that has not been spent that can help Michigan residents who are struggling. Vaccines are now more widely available and cases are way down. It’s time to re-open schools, and let hardworking Michigan residents safely go back to work.”