Key Vote: ATR Urges NO Vote on the Senate Amendment to H.R. 1319, the “American Rescue Plan of 2021”

The House of Representatives will soon vote on the Senate Amendment to H.R. 1319, 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 and may include this vote in its annual scorecard.

The Wall Street Journal Editorial Board explained that the Democrats’ bill is hardly for pandemic or economic relief. Instead, “It’s mainly a way station on their high-speed train to a cradle-to-grave welfare-entitlement state.”

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 wasteful spending in 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.

A $300 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.

Expands 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. These provisions are a massive expansion of national welfare costs. Though these provisions are only implemented for one year, and therefore received a $150 billion score, it is likely that Democrats will expand them beyond just one year. In this way, the costs may far exceed what has been advertised in this bill. These provisions alone could end up costing $1.5 to $2 trillion over a full budget window. 

ATR urges all Members of the House of Representatives to reject the Senate Amendment to H.R. 1319, the “American Rescue Plan of 2021.”