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U.S. Rep. Waltz: I voted 'no' on COVID-19 stimulus because it's a pile of radical ideas

Originally published in The Daytona Beach News Journal on March 12, 2021

By, Rep. Mike Waltz

The fiscal state of our country is crumbling.  

As our country has endured through a global pandemic over the last year, our resolve has been greatly tested for better or worse.  

In Florida, Gov. Ron DeSantis has led our state through a crisis with a steady hand by keeping our businesses and schools open, even in the face of unrelenting national pressure, and bucked CDC guidance by getting vaccines to our seniors first.  

As a result, children have remained educated while working class parents can work and  businesses can remain profitable. We’ve protected seniors at a rate much better than other large states in the U.S.  

Thank God for federalism. It worked in Florida.  Unfortunately, as Florida’s unemployment dropped from 6.1% to 5.1% and the state demonstrated real economic recovery, Democrats in Congress and the Biden administration have leveraged COVID-19  to push a radical agenda that will send our country into further ruin.  

With yet another passage of a COVID relief bill, Congress has now allocated more than $5.5 trillion in stimulus under the guise of recovery – the cost of World War II alone was $4.8 trillion.

Prior to the passage of this bill, the federal government still had nearly $1 trillion in unspent stimulus money that we could use to help Americans in need. Rather than use unspent funds, Congress has now passed a bill that disproportionately bails out poorly governed Democratic states like California and New York and invests money into liberal wish projects.   

Only 9% of the bill will be targeted to address those suffering from impacts of the pandemic.

The bill provides a $362 billion blue-state bailout for state and local governments, like New York and California, and subsidizes the cost of their irresponsible lockdowns.  

It also provides nearly $125 billion for K-12 schools, including ones kept closed due to teacher union pressure. Not only have these governments robbed children of a good education, they are failing to follow the science that tells us it’s safe for children to attend schools.

Additionally, Florida will be hit hard by this bill, and unfairly so.  

The upwards of $430 billion in cuts to Medicare nationally will cost Florida’s seniors $30 billion over the next ten years.  

The anti-recovery components of the bill are also alarming and will hurt Florida businesses looking to hire new employees as the state bounces back.  

The unemployment benefits that were necessary in the onset of the pandemic will be increased, with a weekly $300 bonus on top of regular payments, and extend for more than a year.  

In my visits across Northeast Florida, I’ve talked to countless business owners who cannot hire their workers back because they are making more on unemployment than they were paid at their old jobs.  

Under President Trump's last year in office, I proudly voted for targeted legislation like the Paycheck Protection Program, which focused on businesses harmed by the pandemic. By contrast, the true purpose of this bill is to take advantage of a crisis to advance a radical progressive agenda. It is simply irresponsible and dangerous for our country.

 

No political party has ever so recklessly rammed through such a damaging piece of legislation. I can guarantee you many lawmakers have no idea what’s in the 600-plus page document and are instead following the direction of their Piped Piper in Speaker Nancy Pelosi.  

I’ll continue to push for the allocation in unspent funds to be fairly distributed, but this bill only sets our country back from what was supposed to be the great American comeback.  

https://www.news-journalonline.com/story/opinion/columns/2021/03/12/waltz-covid-stimulus-full-bad-ideas-economy-and-budget/4666515001/
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