Congressman Guest Makes Second Vote Against Partisan “COVID Relief”
Washington, D.C. – Today, Congressman Michael Guest (MS-03) voted against H.R. 1319 – American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. The bill returned to the House of Representatives after it passed the Senate along party lines. No Republicans in either chamber have voted for the legislation. In a speech on the House floor, Congressman Guest urged his colleagues to vote against the measure. The text of his speech can be found below.
“Over the last year, Republicans and Democrats have worked together numerous times to pass COVID relief for the American people. Unfortunately, this bill was not that way. The legislation is a completely partisan bill that has yet to receive one Republican vote in either the House or the Senate. This spending bill will appropriate nearly $2 trillion at a time we still have $1 trillion in unspent funding from our previous relief bills. This bill will be passed at a time that our economy is growing, unemployment is dropping (14.7% to 6.2%), and Americans are being vaccinated. Instead of prioritizing public health needs, focusing on reopening the economy and reopening our schools, or even securing our border, we will be voting to add almost $2 trillion to our national debt, with most of the spending going to fulfill campaign promises and fund the agenda of the far-left. We must reject this partisan bill, that even Democrats admit is the most progressive legislation in the last quarter century, and Congress should instead focus on working together for the good of the American people,” Congressman Guest said on the House floor.
Congressman Guest raised his concerns over the bill’s lack of relief for rural Americans in a Transportation and Infrastructure Committee markup earlier this year.
“Over the last year, we worked together on legislation that addressed the needs of Americans everywhere. This legislation is strong evidence as to why we need bipartisanship more than ever, because by excluding Republicans in developing this bill, you have excluded millions of rural Americans,” Congressman Guest said in the hearing.
In that markup, over 50 amendments were offered by Republicans, including an amendment by Congressman Guest to expand the distribution of vaccines in rural America. All of the amendments were rejected by House Democrats.
Congressman Guest has also raised concerns over the necessity of the bill, citing funds left over from previous relief bills as sufficient for current relief efforts.
“There is still $1 trillion in COVID relief funding that has yet to be spent. We need to be good stewards of the American people’s money instead of pushing through legislation that overshoots the gap of what’s needed to respond to the pandemic,” Guest said in a Facebook post. In another post, the Congressman included additional details on the specific amounts of funds available for various relief efforts, including:
- $280 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program,
- $239 billion for public health programs,
- $172 billion for economic injury disaster loans,
- $59 billion for education, and
- $58 billion for state and local aid.
Congressman Michael Guest represents Mississippi's Third Congressional District. Currently serving his second term, Congressman Guest is a member of the Committee on Homeland Security, the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, and the Committee on Ethics.
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