Members of the House are debating the $1.9 trillion Covid-19 relief bill right now. They are expected to take a final vote on the bill soon.
Here is what both sides are saying:
Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, the Democratic caucus chair, says the package is all about helping Americans who are struggling. He said during his remarks on the House floor today that Congress needs to act with urgency.
“The Covid-19 pandemic is a one in a century crisis. It requires once in a century comprehensive, compassionate and continuing congressional response. That is what the American Rescue Plan is all about,” he said.
Jeffries pointed out that more than 500,000 people have died from the virus and more than 100,000 businesses have closed during the pandemic. He also said the money is needed to help people that are dealing with food insecurity and homelessness, as well as to revive the economy.
“So much pain, suffering and death and our Republican colleagues want us to do nothing. What is wrong with you?” he said.
“We will build back better for the people. Help is on the way,” Jeffries added.
Other Democrats echoed Jeffries comments, repeating the phrase “help is on the way” several times. They also said the public supports the bill.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said Democrats have not tried to pass a relief plan with bipartisanship, and called the package a “missed opportunity” to focus on the real needs of Americans.
He said the bill will cost taxpayers more than $5,000 each, saying it is one of the most expensive bills in American history.
“You send the government your tax dollars but you only get a fraction of what you pay for at best,” he said, referring to the $1,400 direct payments that will be sent to some Americans as part of the plan.
McCarthy said the American Rescue Plan is “very liberal” and “in both the House and Senate, the only bipartisan vote has been against this.”
Rep. Jason Smith, a Republican from Missouri, also argued the bill was a “partisan process” and Congress should focus on “timely and targeted relief to support those who need it most.”
“From the very beginning of this process Republicans have been saying that this bailout was never about Covid relief, but rather about Democrats trying to notch some wins for their political base. Appease their allies, rather than help Americans,” Smith said.
Watch Rep. Hakeem Jeffries:
Watch House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy:
edition.cnn.com 2021-03-10 18:16:44