U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (Mo.) released the following statement today after voting against Democrats’ nearly $2 trillion budget reconciliation bill.
The far-reaching legislation includes $1,400 stimulus checks, $300-per-week jobless benefits through the summer, a child allowance of up to $3,600 for one year, $350 billion for state aid, $34 billion to expand the Affordable Care Act subsidies, and $14 billion for vaccine distribution.
The final vote was 50-49 along party lines, with every Republican voting “no.” It came after Democrats voted down a swath of Republican amendments on repeated votes of 50-49 to avoid disrupting the delicate agreement between progressive and moderate senators.
“This massive spending bill, and the partisan process by which it was passed, fails the American people. Last year, we worked together – Democrats and Republicans, House and Senate – to pass five bipartisan COVID-19 relief packages to fund the economic and health response to the pandemic. Instead of building on that successful pattern, Democrats rammed through a bill filled with untimely spending and misplaced priorities.
“The bill spends nearly $2 trillion without taking into account what the unmet needs are and without targeting relief where it’s needed most. Democrats blocked Republican-led efforts to cut unnecessary spending in the bill and focus resources on priorities like reopening schools. The bill is filled with things that have nothing to do with COVID-19 relief. If our Democrat colleagues were confident they could justify spending limited taxpayer dollars on these non-COVID items, they could have made the case in the regular appropriations process. But because they decided to use the budget reconciliation process, we were left with an enormous, reckless, and partisan spending package that I could not support.”