Duncan Responds to House Passage of H.R. 1319

February 27, 2021
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Jeff Duncan (SC-03) issued the following statement after voting no on H.R. 1319, the Democrats’ $1.9 trillion “COVID relief” bill:

“House Democrats passed H.R. 1319, their $1.9 trillion “COVID relief” bill, without any Republican support. Let’s be clear – this is not a “COVID relief and rescue” plan as Speaker Pelosi has tried to promote it. The very text of the bill proves that it is a payoff for progressives – period. Only 9% of the funding in this bill would go toward combatting the pandemic, while the rest would go toward the Democrats’ radical pet projects that are completely unrelated to COVID-19. For example, there is $100 million for an underground tunnel in Silicon Valley right outside of Speaker Pelosi’s district, $1.5 million for maintenance of a New York bridge, $350 billion for bailing out blue states that have poorly managed their budgets, $86 billion for union pension bailouts, $200 million for the Institute of Museum and Library Services, and the bill includes taxpayer funding for abortion on demand.

“Tell me how this is fair to the American people. The individuals and families who are desperate to get back to work, get their children back to in-person learning, get back to a sense of normalcy – tell me how this helps them get there? It doesn’t. The Democrats could not even commit to ensuring the education funding in this bill would be tied to reopening schools as soon as possible, yet they threw $1,400 a week for fifteen weeks to federal employees whose children are remote learning. They are failing our children and it’s a disgrace.

“The Democratic Party truly never lets a crisis go to waste. For almost a year now, they have used the COVID-19 pandemic as an excuse to pass their radical policy priorities through Congress, and the situation we’ve been dealing with these last few weeks is no different. The budget reconciliation process is a partisan way to conduct business, yet the Democrats chose to pursue it to pass COVID-19 relief legislation – an issue that should be overwhelmingly bipartisan.

“Further, there is over $1 trillion in unspent COVID-19 relief funds remaining from previous bipartisan COVID-19 relief packages that we passed under the leadership of President Trump. As a nation over $27 trillion in debt, you would think Congress would have either reprogrammed that funding as needed or returned it to the Treasury Department. Unfortunately, with a Democrat majority in control, neither or those options were pursued. They instead chose to draft a $1.9 trillion bill, the most expensive in history, under the guise of “COVID-19 relief,” cram it full of their radical priorities, and hope they get away with it.

“I know the American people see through the Democrats’ charade. The American people understand the desperate need for Congress to focus on policies that support the health of our nation, America’s Main Street businesses, and getting our kids back to school. H.R. 1319 is an outrageous bill that will not help us achieve our goals. This legislation will have detrimental effects on our country for years to come, and the Democratic Party will have to pay the price for that.”