Exclusive – Rep. Byron Donalds on Coronavirus Bill: Democrats ‘Didn’t Want to Let a Crisis Go to Waste’

Matthew Perdie and Jack Knudsen

ORLANDO, Florida — Rep. Byron Donalds (R-FL) denounced the partisan $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief bill, which the House passed last week and the Senate passed Saturday, as a Democrat “wish list” mostly containing items unrelated to immediate coronavirus relief, providing his remarks in an interview with Breitbart News during the Conservative Political Action Conference.

Donalds said at the conference just after the House passed the bill last weekend that Democrats “wanted to get their wish list out of” the bill — which they were able to pack with non-coronavirus-related pursuits through a reconciliation process that allowed them to skirt the Senate’s 60-vote filibuster — because “they didn’t want to let a crisis go to waste.”

“That’s why they tacked so much onto it, and in order to get some of the Democrat members to vote for this bill, they had to keep putting stuff into it. Let’s just be perfectly clear. That’s what happened,” Donalds explained. “There’s no reason why we couldn’t do the money to get shots in arms, the money to actually help people who have lost their job through COVID-19, not just sending checks out to everybody, because the truth of the matter is, not everybody who’s going to get a check is on unemployment. That is not true. A lot of people are going to get checks who are working right now today. This is the way they do things. There was no way to get support for that monstrosity unless you were buying off members of Congress, and that’s why the thing is almost two trillion dollars.”

The House passed the massive spending bill last Saturday at around 2:00 a.m. almost entirely along party lines, 219–212, with zero Republicans and all but two Democrats voting in favor of it. The Senate, after a more than 24-hour long session debating various aspects of the package, passed the bill today, 50–49, again without a single Republican voting for it.

Donalds said of House Republicans’ sweeping opposition to the bill, “Every time we see a piece of liberal policy, you oppose it, on grounds of principle and on grounds of fact. That’s just what you saw out of the Republican side of the House of Representatives when it came to the COVID-19 wasteful spending stimulus bill.”

Later at the conference, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) also ripped the bill as wasteful, telling Breitbart News, “I think we’re at the point where Americans are now like, ‘Look, it’s time to get back to normal, not spend another two trillion dollars on a bunch of ridiculous things that aren’t directly related to dealing with the virus itself.”

Following its passage in the Senate, many Senate Republicans released scathing statements about the partisan package, and the National Republican Senatorial Committee put out a list of several of the irrelevant items included in the Democrats’ “spending spree,” including items related to “environmental justice,” “racial justice,” and taxpayer-funded abortion.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer on Saturday praised “the American Rescue Plan” as “big, bold, urgent COVID relief for people across this country.”

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) said in a statement the House will vote on the Senate-version of the bill on Tuesday.

Write to Ashley Oliver at aoliver@breitbart.com.


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