As the Democrats moved to push Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID relief package through committees, the GOP tried the only major strategy they have left: introducing amendments and forcing Democrats to take positions on issues that may be used as ammo for the 2022 elections.
The Ways and Means Committee approved its half of the bill, a roughly $940 billion piece of the legislation, on a party-line vote of 25-18. This portion of the bill included $1,400 stimulus checks, and other initiatives that the GOP has labeled as “too costly, economically damaging and brazenly partisan,” according to local news outlet WYMT.
The Education and Labor Committee also approved one of the Democrats‘ top priorities: the job-killing, economy- destroying minimum wage hike from $7.25 to $15.
“Yes it will. We’re very proud of that,” Democrat Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said when asked by reporters if the minimum wage increase would be included in the overall bill.
WYMT also reported that “the House bill would provide hundreds of billions for state and local governments and to boost vaccination efforts, raise tax credits for children and increase unemployment benefits and federal health care assistance. Democratic leaders hope for House passage later this month, with Senate approval and a bill on Biden’s desk by mid-March.”
Republicans Push Back
As the bill was divided up into several committees due to the broad scope of the plans within the bill, Republicans used the committee votes to fight back. They introduced waves of amendments concerning the legislation in every committee, trying to derail the bill.
WYMT reported that the bill was “aimed at stemming the deadly pandemic and resuscitating an economy that’s shed 10 million jobs and shuttered countless businesses.” Yet this news outlet, along with the mainstream media, refuse to acknowledge why jobs have been lost and businesses have been permanently or temporarily closed: Democrat states’ authoritarian lockdowns. If Democrats had not destroyed their own states’ economies, most of this legislation would be unnecessary.
“I don’t know if the White House knows this, but you’re supposed to be creating jobs, not killing them,” said Texas Rep. Kevin Brady, who is the top Republican on the Ways and Means Committee.
The amendments proposed by Republicans have been focused on issues that they believe they will be able to exploit in the next election, such as Democrats’ overspending, harming the job market for both employees and employers, allowing taxpayer funds to go to illegal immigrants, making fraud easier, and including provisions that would give funds to political allies of the Democrat Party. Republicans also attempted to exempt the smallest businesses from the minimum wage hike, as they would receive the most adverse effects due to the higher cost of employment.
While all of these amendments have failed, Democrats were still forced to take positions by voting on them that could help the GOP with campaign ads in the 2022 elections.