WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — The battle over the American Rescue Plan hit the House floor Friday.
“We will take a vote to reduce the spread of this virus, to put, as we keep saying, vaccinations in the arms of the American people, money into the pockets, children into the schools, workers back into their jobs,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said.
Pelosi says this bill provides the relief the American public desperately needs.
“I think that this is a policy that is sound on substance, ” Massachusetts Congressman Richard Neal said.
Neal says the $1.9-trillion OVID relief package provides the tools Americans need to fight the pandemic.
“I think it will have far-reaching impacts on the lives of the American people. And until we defeat the virus, it’s hard to see how we get to full economic recovery,” Neal said.
New York Congressman Paul Tonko agrees.
“It reaches across all sectors and all economies to make certain that we crush the virus,” Tonko said.
President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan would provide $1,400 stimulus checks, secure funds to reopen schools, increase vaccine rollouts and more.
“Pelosi’s payoff bill, still won’t provide assurances to parents and students that their schools will even reopen,” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said.
He says the bill is too big and too expensive and spends billions on Democrats’ pet projects.
“Less than 9% of the bill will be used to fund public health. Less than 9%,” McCarthy said.
Pennsylvania Republican Congressman Fred Keller says there is still $1 trillion left over from previous relief bills, and Congress should focus on that.
“They want to borrow another $1.9 trillion and have our kids and grandkids pay that debt back,” Keller said.
Once passed, the bill will head to the Senate, where it’s likely to pass. But it may require a tie-breaking vote from the vice president in the evenly divided Senate.