Rep. Steel: “Relief should be targeted, temporary and tied to COVID”
(February 27, 2021) Washington, D.C. – Rep. Michelle Steel (CA-48) today opposed the Democrats’ $1.9 trillion funding bill which would have cost more than 1 million American jobs, added $14,000 per family to the national debt, and supported schools that remained shuttered to in-person learning. The majority of this legislation – more than $1 trillion – is not related to COVID relief.
The legislation passed tonight would:
- Raise the federal minimum wage to $15, which is estimated to cost 1.4 million American jobs
- Provide nearly $130 billion to K-12 schools, even if they stay closed
- Provide $112 million in funding for the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) expansion in Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s district
- Provide $12 billion in foreign assistance
- Allow a taxpayer bailout of union-run pensions
$1 trillion in COVID funds from relief packages passed last year remains unspent. This includes $239 billion in health spending, $58 billion in state and local aid, $52 billion in stimulus payments, and $59 billion in education funding.
“Any relief passed by Congress in support of the American people should be targeted, temporary and tied to COVID,” said Rep. Steel. “This $1.9 trillion bill does the opposite and was rushed through Congress without bipartisan support. Last year, Congress and President Trump worked together to pass multiple bipartisan relief package, and $1 trillion of those funds remains unspent. Most of this bill funds projects that have nothing to do with COVID relief or recovery. The American people need access to vaccines, businesses want to safely reopen and provide for their employees, and families want to see their kids back in school. We can certainly do better on behalf of those we serve.”
Rep. Steel has supported and sponsored several amendments and bills that would help businesses reopen and get students back into the classroom safely. They include:
- Cosponsored the bipartisan. bicameral Restaurant’s Act of 2021, which establishes a $120 billion “Restaurant Revitalization Fund” managed by the U.S. Department of Treasury to help local restaurants – not chains – stay open during the pandemic.
- Cosponsored the bipartisan, bicameral FRESH Air for Businesses Act, which provides a payroll tax credit to businesses that purchase or upgrade ventilation and air filtration systems to help prevent the spread of COVID.
- Offered an amendment to the funding legislation that would require K-12 schools to reopen as soon as vaccines are made available to teachers.
- Supported an amendment to the funding legislation that would have required K-12 schools to have a reopening place in place for in-person teaching for the remainder of the school year.
- Cosponsored the Reopen Schools Act, which would condition the $54 billion Congress allocated to schools in December on them reopening safely for their students.
- Supported an amendment that would create a maritime task force and private sector advisory committee to address the safety and future of maritime and cruise line operations post-COVID.