Democrat Kurt Schrader Flip-Flops in Support of $1.9 Trillion Coronavirus Bill

Rep. Kurt Schrader
KGW8

Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-OR) announced Monday that he would vote for the Democrat’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus plan after voting against the legislation in February.

The House passed the $1.9 trillion in February; however, the legislation faced bipartisan opposition. Two Democrats, Rep. Jared Golden (D-ME) and Schrader, voted against it.

Schrader said in early March that he voted against the legislation because he thought there was no ability for rank-and-file members to have input on the bill.

The Oregon Democrat said:

We were presented with a 1.9 trillion dollar bill, not allowed or encouraged to offer amendments. The voice of the elected representatives was not heard in this package at all. It was a take it or leave it approach. Every other COVID package that we’ve done not only has been bi-partisan but has gone through an extensive vetting process.

 Schrader also said that he did not like that Democrat leadership included a provision that would increase the minimum wage to $15 per hour:

I’d argue respectfully as a small businessman for 30 plus years, there’s not a small businessman or woman out there that thinks raising the minimum wage in the middle of a pandemic, when we’re trying to get them to hire people, makes sense, particularly in struggling restaurant and hospitality industries. That makes no sense at all.

Schrader then emphasized that he remains independent from Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) influence.

“You want someone that’s going to be a party hack, elect somebody else. You want someone that’s going to represent the fifth congressional district of Oregon and my great state, you elect me,” he said.

However, Schrader changed his tune Monday, announcing that he would vote for the coronavirus bill despite his reservations about the legislation.

Tomorrow I will be voting in favor of the American Rescue Plan to provide targeted assistance across this country. My concerns remain on the size and scope of this bill but believe the Senate changes provide meaningful relief for Oregonians in need. Funding for our local governments, small businesses, schools, families, healthcare providers and an extension on unemployment benefits will be a lifeline for many.

“And investing in vaccine distribution, testing and development is critical at this juncture when coupled with President Biden’s accelerated vaccine production. There is much work to do moving forward and passing this legislation is an important step,” he added.

Sean Moran is a congressional reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @SeanMoran3.

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