Key Vote: ATR Urges NO Vote on the “American Rescue Plan”

The U.S. Senate will soon vote on the so-called “American Rescue Plan,” Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion spending plan.

While Biden ran on unifying the American people, the first legislative act by Congressional Democrats and the President is pushing through a partisan $1.9 trillion proposal. This relief bill is about furthering the far left agenda, not providing targeted, effective relief to American families and businesses in need.

ATR urges a NO vote on final passage and may include this vote in its annual scorecard.

The Biden administration is proposing this new spending package even though Congress has already enacted over $4 trillion in aid, according to the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. This amount also does not include the $700 billion that has been allocated by administrative action and $2.6 trillion that has been spent by the Federal Reserve.

Of the $4 trillion in Congressional spending, $1 trillion is unspent and $900 billion was passed by lawmakers and signed into law two months ago. Notable examples of remaining funds include Health Spending ($239 billion), Economic Injury Disaster Loans ($172 billion), Unemployment Insurance Expansion ($172 billion), Education Funding ($59 billion), and State and Local Aid ($58 billion).

To put this spending in context, there are 122.8 million families in the U.S. and 79.5 million households, according to the Census Bureau. By either metric, we have spent a significant amount of taxpayer dollars already — $51,500 per family and $33,380 per household has already been spent. President Biden’s $1.9 trillion plan would spend an additional $15,500 per household or $23,900 per family.

The Biden stimulus plan includes a $350 billion bailout to state and local governments. This proposal is entirely unnecessary – many states have seen little or no negative budgetary impact because of the pandemic, with California reporting a $15 billion budget surplus.

The proposal also provides a $400 per week additional unemployment benefit. This would be provided in addition to state unemployment insurance and will encourage people to remain on welfare instead of going back to work.

The legislation also expands several refundable tax credits that have a significant history of waste, fraud, and abuse including the Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC), the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), and the Obamacare Premium Tax Credit (PTC). Because refundable tax credits can result in tax refunds when no income tax is paid or withheld, they can become a profitable tool for individuals who file erroneous claims. 

This proposal would also include a burdensome tax paperwork mandate on independent contractors. The provision in question would lower the reporting threshold to $600 or more for 1099-K reporting and eliminates the transactions threshold. These heightened compliance costs would end up harming low- and middle-income contractors, small businesses, and freelancers, many of which have been devastated by the coronavirus pandemic.

ATR urges all members of the U.S. Senate to vote no on final passage of the American Rescue Plan.