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Congressman Baird Votes No Democrats’ $1.9 Trillion Stimulus Bill

Washington, DC - Congressman Jim Baird (R-IN) voted no on Democrats’ partisan $1.9 trillion stimulus bill.

“This bill is irrational and irresponsible. Only 9% of the funds in the stimulus bill are related to the pandemic. It doesn’t make sense to spend another $2 trillion when Congress just passed a COVID relief package in December. The federal government has close to $1 trillion of unspent pandemic relief. Let’s ensure the money we already appropriated is given to those in need, then we can assess if further aid is necessary. Any future pandemic assistance should be temporary and targeted to those still struggling,” said Congressman Jim Baird.  

This is the first COVID-19 relief legislation to be created and passed in a partisan manner. Congress has passed five bipartisan COVID-19 relief bills, including a $900 billion package in December. Since the beginning of the pandemic, Congress has appropriated $4 trillion in relief with a quarter of the funds yet to be spent.

With only nine percent of this stimulus being related to the pandemic, it does nothing substantive to ensure kids get back to school or save jobs.  Instead, this bill is packed with partisan provisions and waste that will hamper our recovery, while adding hundred of billions of dollars to our national debt.

Examples of partisan provisions and waste in the legislation:

  • $350 billion for state and local governments when only a few are in true financial stress
  • $170 billion for education when $68 billion from previous relief bills remains unspent
  • $30 billion for transit grants
  • $12 billion in additional foreign aid
  • $3 billion in aid to U.S. aircraft manufacturers
  • $1.5 billion for Amtrack, which already has $1 billion in unspent aid
  • $200 million for the Institute of Museum and Library Services
  • $135 million for the National Endowment for the Arts
  • $135 million for the National Endowment for the Humanities
  • $100 million for underground rail project in Silicon Valley
  • $50 million in funding for the EPA environmental justice grants
  • $1.5 million for Seaway International Bridge that connects New York to Canada

Furthermore, significant portions of the funds won’t be spent until 2022 or later. Approximately $670 billion will not be spent until 2022. This goes against President Biden’s statements of urgency regarding the need to quickly pass this stimulus package.

“Simply put, it is wrong to ask American taxpayers to foot the bill for this $1.9 trillion pandemic relief package, when a vast majority of the funding has nothing to do with the pandemic,” said Congressman Baird.