Washington, D.C.– House Democrats finalized passage of Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s $1.9 trillion payoff to progressive special interests today.  Falsely dressed up as a “COVID-19 Relief Bill,” less than 10% of the bill goes towards vaccine distribution and other public health measures.  U.S. Congressman Andy Barr (KY-06) spoke in opposition to this bill on the House floor and released the following statement after his vote against Pelosi’s Payoff to Progressives:   

“Congressional Democrats are prioritizing advancing left-wing special interests ahead of the interests of hard-working American taxpayers.  The American people want to safely reopen schools, businesses and go back to work.  Instead, Congressional Democrats are incentivizing their failed lockdown policies.  For example, $350 billion in this bill is for bailing out mismanaged state and local governments.  This funding will be largely distributed based on statewide unemployment rates, rewarding states like New York and California for endless lockdowns that crushed small businesses and skyrocketed unemployment in their states.    

“Additionally, Congressional Democrats are providing a no-strings-attached $129 billion handout to school districts that are largely or entirely offering ineffective virtual education to America’s children.  Despite constant lectures from Democrats to “follow the science,” they ignore OVERWHELMING scientific evidence from studies conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and American Academy of Pediatrics concluding that children can safely return to the classroom.  Frankly, at this point, it is shameful that Democrats have shelled out almost $250 billion to schools without any stipulation that they reopen for in-person learning as the education of millions of American children suffers because of virtual learning.

“I am voting NO on this totally reckless, hyper-partisan, payoff to progressives and liberal special interests.”

Congressman Barr was an early supporter of Operation Warp Speed (OWS) and voted for over $10 billion to support OWS.  Multiple COVID-19 vaccines were developed, produced and mass distributed within a calendar year of the virus hitting the U.S. because of OWS.  Congressman Barr also voted for $48 billion for vaccine distribution in schools, small businesses and healthcare providers so we can continue safely reopening America, including $20 billion specifically for the purchase of vaccines that will make the vaccine available at no charge for anyone who needs it.  Lastly, Congressman Barr voted in support of the four major COVID-19 relief packages passed in Congress on a bipartisan basis.  These include the Families First Coronavirus Act, the Coronavirus, Aid, Relief, and Economic Securities (CARES) Act, the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act and the 2020 year-end COVID-19 relief bill in December.