Joni Ernst calls on colleagues to ‘read fine print’ of Dems’ pork-laden COVID relief bill

Iowa Republican Senator Joni Ernst is calling on her fellow lawmakers to actually “read the fine print” contained in the Democrats’ $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package before blindly passing it.

The Senator feels they should know what is in the bill and exactly how much of it has anything to do with the pandemic. She points out that it is full of “pricey partisan pet projects” and “Democratic wish list items” that will not help Americans but instead, go to fund unnecessary spending.

One of the items cited by Ernst is the $350 billion “blue state bailouts” that will ostensibly reward states that mandated draconian lockdowns in response to the coronavirus. She used visual aids on the floor to point out the Democrats’ reckless spending: “With a one-party monopoly of Washington, Democrats are back to their old spending games. Most of the 1.9 trillion dollars within the Democrats’ ‘COVID’ package has absolutely nothing to do with COVID.”

The House approved the pandemic relief bill on Saturday. But it includes a $15 an hour minimum wage provision that will be blocked under budget reconciliation. It is also being reported that the transit rail capital projects, which include the extension of the Bay Area Rapid Transit line from San Jose to Santa Clara, California, dubbed “The Subway to Nowhere,” will be nixed as well, accompanied by the Seaway International Bridge in upstate New York, also known as Chuck Schumer’s “Bridge to Nowhere.” The Senate Parliamentarian has ruled against both of those under budget reconciliation according to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office.

(Video Credit: Forbes Breaking News)

Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) has also introduced this week a resolution “to require members of Congress to have enough time to read bills before voting on them and certify that they have read every bill they cast a vote on.” Sens. Joni Ernst, Josh Hawley, John Kennedy, and Roger Marshall are all co-sponsoring the resolution.

“This legislation comes as Senate Democrats try to push through a more than 600-page COVID-19 spending bill, which prioritizes their wasteful, liberal agenda over actual COVID relief. Only 10 percent of the funding in the Democrats’ bill is dedicated to actual COVID relief and less than one percent is committed to critical vaccine initiatives,” Scott said in a statement.

“Too often, lawmakers in Washington pass bills without having time to read them before they vote. These are new laws that impact American families and businesses and sometimes even authorize billions or trillions in tax dollar spending. Scary, right? It’s ridiculous Washington dysfunction, and it has to end. I’m proud to lead my colleagues in making sure members of Congress get to work for the American people and actually read bills before casting their votes,” he added.

“Here’s a novel idea: before politicians ram through massive and consequential legislation that’s hundreds of pages long and will rack up trillions of taxpayer dollars in spending, they should have to read the bill before voting on it. It sounds simple, but unfortunately, it’s become all too common in Washington for folks not to know what’s in the bill they’re voting on. I say we require Congress to actually ‘Read the Bill’ first. Is that too much to ask?” Ernst demanded.

“Legislation considered by Congress has dramatic impacts on the livelihoods and wellbeing of all Americans. As their voices in Washington, we must have the opportunity to read the legislation we are expected to vote on before it is considered. This is simply commonsense,” Marshall stated.

“Congress should not pass laws it does not read. Period. The DC establishment has abused their power for far too long by jamming lawmakers with massive bills at the eleventh hour. This is a recipe for waste and it’s time for it to end. I’m proud to introduce this commonsense legislation with my Senate colleagues to ensure members of Congress actually read bills before they vote on them,” Hawley opined.

To her credit, Ernst holds out hope that some Democratic lawmakers will get aboard.

“As an eternal optimist, I am hopeful that when the bill comes before the Senate, my Democrat colleagues will actually work with us to cut the pork and refocus the bill on what it should be focused on: the immediate needs of the COVID pandemic,” Ernst said. “If not, I’m afraid the Democrats will just ‘keep passing go’ and collecting hundreds of dollars from hardworking taxpayers across this country, only to pay for their pricey partisan pet projects and wish list items that have nothing to do with COVID-19.”

The so-called relief package also includes billions of dollars that will go to climate change, $86 billion doled out for union pensions, and $180 million to alter the definition of an “at-risk school child.”


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