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Michigan Reps split on House passing $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill

second stimulus bill
Posted at 8:26 AM, Feb 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-27 10:18:46-05

(WXYZ) — The new president’s vision for flushing cash to individuals, businesses, states and cities battered by COVID-19 passed on a near party-line 219-212 vote early Saturday. That ships the massive measure to the Senate, where Democrats seem bent on resuscitating their minimum wage push and fights could erupt over state aid and other issues.

Related: House passes $1.9T pandemic bill on near party-line vote

Democrats said the still-faltering economy and the half-million American lives lost demanded quick, decisive action. GOP lawmakers, they said, were out of step with a public that polling shows largely views the bill favorably.

Several Michigan representatives released statements after the passage, with the statements both for and against the vote depending on their party.

You can read the statements below.

Rep. Brenda Lawrence - (D - MI 13th)

“After nearly a year of this pandemic, families, workers, and small businesses across the country have been devastated. Women and communities of color especially are shouldering the burden of this pandemic. The American people have been calling for help, and Congress and this Administration must deliver. The scale of our relief bill must match the scale of this crisis, and the American Rescue Plan meets this moment.

“This comprehensive bill provides the resources necessary to crush this virus; help our schools, small businesses, and cities; get vaccines to the American people; and put dollars into families’ pockets. We cannot afford to sit idly by and do nothing. Last night, I joined my House colleagues in taking urgently-needed action to pass the American Rescue Plan. There’s a lot more work that needs to be done, but we are one step closer to putting our country back on track.”

Rep. Andy Levin – (D - MI 9th)

“Today marks a turning point away from the public health and economic devastation that has marked this last year, and just in time before benefits lapse once more. We are finally meeting the moment with bold action and targeted assistance to those struggling the most. Gradually increasing the federal minimum wage will give millions of frontline workers a raise and pump billions into our local economies, allowing Americans to at long last live on the wages from one job. Unemployed workers and food insecure families and children will have resources and peace of mind during this dark hour. Finally knowing their essential services will be funded, state and local governments can focus on ramping up vaccine distribution—under a national vaccination plan at last.”

Rep. Rashia Tlaib – (D - MI 13th)

“I am glad we are a step closer to providing needed relief to people across the country who are still being deeply impacted by this ongoing pandemic. The American Rescue Plan Act passed out of the House has critical provisions and programs that will help residents survive the health and economic crises that have been brought on and exacerbated by the COVID-19 global health crisis. The path to providing that relief is far from over though, and we have to keep pushing every day to get checks in people’s hands. We need members of the Senate, Senate Majority Leader Schumer, and Vice President Kamala Harris, in her role as the president of the Senate, to make sure provisions like the $15 minimum wage increase remain in this relief package. Our people cannot wait any longer for this long overdue raise.

“We must also realize that this cannot be the last action we take in providing relief during this pandemic. We must provide recurring, $2k payments to every resident. There is strong bipartisan support for recurring direct payments across the country and our families will not be able to thrive during and after this pandemic without them. We must also take bold action to ensure our families are not drowning economically when the various moratoriums end - we must pass the Emergency Water is a Human Right Act so that families have guaranteed access to clean, safe water.

“We are not done yet and I am committed to continuing to fight for real relief that my residents and people across the country desperately need and deserve.”

Rep. Tim Walberg – (R - MI 7th)

“Let’s be clear: This isn’t a COVID relief bill. In fact, only nine percent focuses on public health measures like enhanced testing and vaccine distribution. In reality, this bloated $1.9 trillion bill is riddled with political handouts that have little or nothing to do with combating the virus. It is simply indefensible that this legislation devotes billions of dollars to extraneous provisions—foreign assistance programs, a subway in Speaker Pelosi’s district, a bridge in Senator Schumer’s state, and much more. Up to this point, Congress has already allocated more than $4 trillion in COVID relief, and $1 trillion of that has yet to be spent. We owe it to our constituents to ditch the unrelated, wasteful spending and focus on delivering bipartisan results. A true relief package should be dedicated to defeating COVID-19 and targeted to reopening schools, rebuilding a healthy economy, and helping those most in need.”

Rep. Dan Kildee – (D - MI 5th)

“Families, seniors, and small businesses need additional economic relief now. The overwhelming majority of the American people, including Republicans, Independents and Democrats, want Congress to pass another COVID-19 relief package to help people get through the pandemic. With the American Rescue Plan, we finish the job of $2,000 direct payments, speed up vaccine distribution, get our kids back in the classroom safely and extend support for small businesses. Providing additional economic relief should not be a partisan issue."

Rep. Peter Meijer - (R - MI 3rd)

Rep. John Moolenar - (R - MI 4th)

“Last year, I voted for bipartisan COVID relief packages that brought much needed relief to Michigan families, health care professionals, schools, and small businesses. A lot of this funding is still available and the Biden Administration is not being honest when it says it needs tonight's bill to re-open schools. There is still $59 billion in approved school aid that has not been spent and scientific research shows it's safe to re-open classrooms and let every American student have the opportunity for in-person learning. “Democrats should join Republicans in getting students back in the classroom, making vaccines available to everyone who wants one, and letting small businesses safely and fully re-open. Unfortunately, tonight they decided to pass a bill that will spend billions to bailout state governments while putting more burdens on small businesses that have been devastated by the pandemic and state-imposed restrictions. Today’s bill is not COVID relief. It is a repeat of the failed Obama-Biden spending policies that led to the slowest economic recovery in American history."