Joyce Condemns Wasteful, Non-COVID Related Spending in the Partisan American Rescue Plan Act

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Dave Joyce (OH-14) issued the following statement criticizing the non-COVID related funding and wasteful spending in H.R. 1319, the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021:

“Instead of providing targeted, responsible relief to those who need it most, this bill funnels billions of dollars to non-COVID purposes, greenlights even more in wasteful spending, and eliminates over a million jobs. Before we ask more of American taxpayers and approve additional spending, we should effectively and efficiently use the $1 trillion in relief from previous COVID bills that remains unspent.

“Any additional relief cannot be used to satisfy a political agenda. It must be focused on distributing vaccines and targeted toward immediate, COVID-related needs, such as supporting our most devastated industries and the workers they employ, safely re-opening schools, and expanding broadband capabilities to meet new tele-health, employment and educational demands.”

To date, Congress has provided more than $3.5 trillion to help Americans tackle the challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, roughly a third of which has yet to be spent. That unspent relief includes:

  • $58 billion to help state and local governments; 
  • $280 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program;
  • $59 billion to support schools as they work to safely reopen;
  • $172 billion for unemployment insurance expansion;
  • $172 billion for Economic Injury Disaster Loans;
  • $52 billion for stimulus checks;
  • $33 billion for food stamps;
  • $29 billion for agriculture; and
  • $10 billion for Child Care & Development Block Grants.

Only 9% of the $1.9 trillion bill goes toward combatting COVID-19 through public health initiatives such as vaccine distribution, testing and tracing. Items unrelated to COVID-19 include $112 million for an underground railway in Silicon Valley and $1.5 million for the Seaway International Bridge in New York. The legislation also includes a 107% hike to the minimum wage which, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, would destroy 1.4 million jobs (500,000 more jobs than the number of workers it would lift out of poverty).

To help those most in need during these tough times, Joyce recently voted for legislation that:

  • Would have increased direct relief payments from $600 to $2,000;
  • Extended a federal moratorium on evictions;
  • Provided $20 billion for small business disaster loans in low-income communities;
  • Provided $284 billion for Paycheck Protection Program forgivable loans;
  • Temporarily renewed federal supplemental unemployment benefits;
  • Provided $8.75 billion for the CDC to support federal and state efforts to procure and distribute vaccines; and
  • Provided $22 billion to support COVID-19 testing and contact tracing at the state-level.

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