February 26, 2021

Smith Opening Statement: House Floor Debate on Democrats $1.9 Trillion Bailout

As Prepared for Delivery

We are here today because Washington Democrats have gotten together and decided to use a global pandemic as an excuse to check a few items off from their progressive wish list. They want to reward their political allies at the expense of America’s working class.

If this bailout is about crushing the virus, why does less than 9 percent actually go towards putting shots in people’s arms?

If this bailout is about quickly reopening our schools, why is less than 5 percent of the money for schools going to be spent this year?

If this bailout is about helping workers and families, why does this plan continue to incentivize governors to keep small business closed? Why does 25 percent of all the spending go towards policies that will kill jobs and reduce hours worked?

Simply put: this is the Wrong Plan, at the Wrong Time, and for all the Wrong Reasons.

It is the wrong plan because Americans living on fixed incomes – including 31 million seniors –will be forced to pay more out of pocket to buy food, clothes, or to keep the lights on. Seniors will now have to decide – turn on the heat or pay for that needed medication.

It’s the wrong time because Democrat economists and the Congressional Budget Office are warning that this spending isn’t needed. And that by the middle of this year our real GDP will have recovered, and we will have our largest economic growth in 15 years.

It’s the wrong time because when you combine this bill with COVID-19 money that has already been enacted, the sum is more than the GDP of every country on earth other than the U.S. & China. And $1 trillion of already enacted spending still remains.

So, what’s the reason for this bailout? It is all about rewarding political allies. Bailouts to Blue States. Democrats even changed the funding formula to reward states that severely locked-down their citizens and boarded up main street.

Using a pandemic to push things like the $15 Washington mandate, an expansion of Obamacare, and billions on political payouts around the country – that’s the real reason for this bailout.

I urge my colleagues on the other side of the aisle – look beyond your agenda and think about the working class who want their schools re-opened, to be able to go to work, vaccines to keep their families safe, and an end to this pandemic.

All of that can happen without this bailout plan if we focus on what the American people need, not what one political party desperately wants.