Washington, D.C. – In a speech this afternoon on the Senate floor, U.S. Senator Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) dismantled the Democrats’ claims that their $1.9 trillion spending bill is about COVID-19.
During his speech, Senator Toomey listed off a number of items in the spending bill that have nothing to do with COVID-19, saying:

“$270 million for the National Endowment of the Arts and [National Endowment of the] Humanities: oh, that’s COVID related, thank goodness that’s there. $91 million for outreach to student loan borrowers: I don’t even know what that means. $50 million for environmental justice grants: I have no idea what that means. But this one is really rich: there’s about $4 billion for ‘socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers.’ I say ‘about $4 billion’ because it says ‘such funds as may be necessary.’ And here’s what the money is for: it’s going to pay off 120 percent of the debt of these farmers and ranchers. 120 percent.”

Senator Toomey also highlighted the following items in the bill:

  • $414 billion for so-called stimulus checks for millions of Americans who never lost income;
  •  $350 billion for state and local governments, after record-high revenues in 2020;
  • $86 billion to bail out multiemployer pension plans without any reform; and
  •  $45 billion primarily to pay insurance companies to cover Americans who already have health insurance.
More excerpts from Senator Toomey’s speech include:
“There is no justification for this bill. There’s no medical justification, there’s pandemic justification, there’s no economic justification. This isn’t about coming together and doing something about a crisis. This is about a partisan, left-wing wish list. And, of course, Republicans aren’t interested in that kind of political gesturing that’s going to do economic damage.”
“And how do you know for sure that nobody on the other side is even pretending that this is really about the economic recovery? Well, you know for sure because the Congressional Budget Office has told us that only a fraction, a small fraction, of this money is even going to be spent this year. How long do we think the pandemic is going to be with us as a pandemic? How long do we think we’re going to have these lockdowns? … The schools number is a good illustration, the elementary and secondary education: this bill has $128 billion. $6.5 billion is going to be spent in 2021. The rest gets dribbled out for years and years and years. How long do they think before schools can reopen? Oh, and by the way, this bill doesn’t require the schools to be reopen. You don’t even have to reopen.”
You can watch Senator Toomey’s full speech here.