WASHINGTON, D.C. (WTXL) — Across the Big Bend and South Georgia, there are five House members who serve the area, here are each of their thoughts following the $1.9 trillion stimulus plan that was passed early Saturday morning by the U.S. House of Representatives.
The final vote was 219-212, with local lawmakers voting down party lines.
Rep. Neal Dunn (FL-02), Republican: Voted Nay on the bill.
We owe it to the American people to prioritize our children, our families, & our communities. The bill that we voted on yesterday failed to do that. I cannot support a bill that fails to adequately address the needs of my constituents. #FL02 #COVID19 pic.twitter.com/FCuYt5LfUi— Dr. Neal Dunn (@DrNealDunnFL2) February 27, 2021
Rep. Al Lawson Jr. (FL-05), Democrat: Voted Yea on the bill.
“Americans need to know that more help is on the way,” Rep. Lawson said. “For over a year, the COVID-19 pandemic and economic crisis have destroyed the lives and livelihoods of so many Americans. This additional relief is necessary to speed up vaccine distribution, increase COVID-19 testing and tracing, help shuttered businesses, and help suffering families put food on their tables and keep a roof over their heads. North Florida families and businesses have waited far too long for additional relief and they cannot afford any more delays. I am proud to have worked with my colleagues to pass this legislation and meet the needs of our communities.”
Rep. Earl "Buddy" Carter (GA-01), Republican: Voted Nay on the bill.
The Biden Bailout Bill is a partisan wishlist that puts the Democrat’s agenda before hardworking Americans and students. COVID relief should be targeted and actually tied to COVID. pic.twitter.com/AzuFFq5ZNc— Buddy Carter (@RepBuddyCarter) February 26, 2021
Rep. Sanford Bishop Jr. (GA-02), Democrat: Voted Yea on the bill.
COVID-19 has created two crises in our nation—both health & economic. We have a duty to respond and help the American people recover. This bill is a major step towards fulfilling that duty. https://t.co/NO2idjdoXA— Sanford Bishop, Jr. (@SanfordBishop) February 27, 2021
Rep. Austin Scott (GA-08), Republican: Voted Nay on the bill.
“Only 9% of spending in Speaker Pelosi’s so-called ‘COVID relief package’ is dedicated to health spending. More than 90% of the package is non-COVID spending and includes funding for things like an underground tunnel in Silicon Valley and a bridge connecting New York and Canada. The bill that passed the House is nothing more than a partisan wish list, and they should be ashamed for selling it to the American people as COVID relief,” said Rep. Scott. “House Democrats also conveniently seem to forget that there is still one trillion dollars unspent from previous COVID-19 relief bills. We should be focusing on responsibly spending the resources already allocated for COVID relief rather than passing a $1.9 trillion spending package full of progressive pet projects.”
The stimulus bill includes $1,400 checks for most Americans making less than $75,000 a year. It also includes $1,400 for eligible dependents. The proposal increases the child tax credit to $3,000 per year ($3,600 for children under age 6). And it extends enhanced unemployment benefits through September.
The bill also replenishes funds for small business grants and adds nearly $130 billion for schools to retain staff and implement social distancing protocols.
Although the House voted to approve the measure, the package will likely return to the House, assuming it is passed by the Senate.
That is because late Thursday, the Senate parliamentarian ruled that a minimum wage hike could not be included in the bill if the Senate uses budget reconciliation to pass the bill.