Senator Marsha Blackburn Slams $1.9 Trillion COVID Relief Bill

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Marsha Blackburn_ by Gage Skidmore is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Senator Marsha Blackburn voted against the recent $1.9 trillion COVID bailout bill from President Biden. The bill passed the Senate this Saturday, but Blackburn – along with fellow Tennessee Senator Bill Hagerty – made sure that their issues with the bill were well heard.

For her part, Blackburn had talked about the bill as a “blue state bailout” full of Democrat party pork barrel spending and useless provisions.


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Blackburn put forward several amendments that would have cut out pro-blue state bailouts by snaking away money from underfunded hospitals, but Blackburn’s attempted change was defeated in the Democrat-run Senate.

“Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer want to steal money from rural area hospitals to fund blue states. Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer want to steal money from rural area hospitals to fund blue states,” Blackburn said.

Former President Trump himself called the bill a wasteful “boondoggle” in recent remarks at CPAC 2021 in Orlando.

Marsha Blackburn by Gage Skidmore is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Paying Out Cash to Blue States, Liberal Cities and Democratic Donors

As Blackburn notes, various provisions in the bill are basically handouts to liberal cities and blue states. The specific provision she wanted changed hands out even more money to large urban hospitals and defunds poor rural hospitals in more conservative areas.

“The benefit comes at the expense of poor Americans that are living in rural areas and makes the payout disparity between rural and urban hospitals worse than they already are. If you have rural hospitals in your state and you vote against this amendment, what you are doing is taking money from those hospitals, Blackburn said.

In further comments about the bailout bill passing – which zero Republicans voted for – Blackburn said that the issues go far beyond just the disparities between urban and rural.

“All the COVID relief bills that we have passed under leader McConnell were passed in a bipartisan manner. Every one of them got 90 votes or more. So that shows yo the degree of bipartisanship and how very hard leader McConnell and President Trump and leader McCarthy had worked to make these bipartisan,” Blackburn said, noting that the Democrats don’t care at all about actually helping on COVID, since only 9% of the bill goes to actually helping fight the virus and help Americans who have suffered from it economically or physically.

“The other 91 percent is money for the arts, humanities, transportation, abortion, loan forgiveness for students, loan forgiveness for socially-disadvantaged farmers. You also have a provision of 15 weeks of paid vacation leave for federal employees. Then you’ve got earmarks in there for hospitals in New Jersey, Rhode Island, Delaware, plus the big $350 billion blue state bailout,” Blackburn added.

 

‘This Bill is Not Fair to Our Children and Grandchildren and Future Generations’

A large part of the bill going to blue states that are economically struggling is completely unfair according to Blackburn. She says it will saddle future generations with mountains of debt and rising taxes when “the bill comes due.”

Despite Biden saying that all is well and the bill will help those who are unemployed and hurting from the virus, Blackburn said he’s just providing cover for the blue state bailout.

“Relief should be targeted, temporary and timely,” Blackburn said, adding that “the Democrats did not want timely relief prior to the election. They wanted people to suffer and Nancy Pelosi told us why: because they felt like it would help them win the election.”

What Blackburn is saying is entirely true.

Democrats specifically refused to pass through vital relief when small businesses and individuals were buckling under the onslaught of the pandemic, but after using the suffering and despair to wreck Trump’s chances at reelection now they are suddenly much more open to passing their own version of relief.