The vast majority of the COVID-19 relief bill isn’t targeted for actual pandemic relief and is intended to back Democratic-controlled states, Rep. Mike Kelly (R-Pa.) told The Epoch Times at the Conservative Political Action Conference on Feb. 28.
The congressman said the $1.9 trillion measure is actually an addition to the $1 trillion already allotted for COVID-19 relief.
“I think most of the American people need to know, we already had a trillion dollars worth of money allocated but not yet spent. Now, we’re going to throw another $1.9 trillion on top of that,” Kelly said at the annual conservative conference in Orlando, Florida.
“And only about 9 percent of that is going to actually go to COVID relief, the other is going to go to backing blue states that have not been able to run themselves the right way.”
Kelly expressed annoyance with the argument that it’s government money and that it’s acceptable for them to spend it as such, pointing out that it adds to the national debt.
“Not one penny of it is government money. Every single penny of it came out of your pocket; you’re going to be co-signing on a debt that goes far into the future. And we know right now, between funded and unfunded liabilities, the total debt in the United States is over $130 trillion,” he said.
“We talk so quickly about, ‘Oh, it’s $30 trillion we’re up to right now.’ I said no, no—funded and unfunded liabilities [it’s] $130 trillion. We’re spending money like there’s no tomorrow.”
In an attempt to bypass the necessity for Republican votes in the Senate, Democrats are trying to push the COVID-19 relief bill through the budget reconciliation process.
Kelly said that if one takes a look at the item-for-item list of where the money is planned to be spent, one can find that a lot of it is allocated to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) promises.
“What in this spending is actually going to help people that have had COVID? And then you get down to the point—no, it’s not, it’s going to go for a lot of other features, a lot of other promises that Speaker Pelosi made. And that’s what’s going to come to fruition right now,” he said.
All Democratic senators would have to vote in favor to pass the bill, however, Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) have expressed objections to including a boost to the federal minimum wage in the bill.
The Congressional Budget Office released a report projecting that an estimated 1 million people would be “lifted” out of poverty with an increase in the minimum wage, but the report also found that the change would result in the loss of 1.4 million jobs.