House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said the $1.9 trillion coronavirus bill passed by Congress is likely “the most consequential legislation” for which most members will ever vote, likening it to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in terms of significance during her weekly press conference on Thursday.
“We also today are celebrating legislation that will make a tremendous difference. President Biden’s American Rescue Plan is a plan to crush the virus and to save lives and livelihoods of the American people. It is historic. It is monumental. It is consequential,” she told reporters, describing it as “probably the most consequential legislation most of us will ever, many of us will ever vote for in the Congress.”
“I put it on the par with the Affordable Care Act as having serious consequences for the well-being of the American people,” she said:
The bill, she claimed, will make an “immediate difference” in people’s lives by injecting vaccines in their arms, placing money in their pockets, putting children back into school “safely,” and allowing people to go back to work “safely.”
“It’s just remarkable. It’s remarkable legislation,” she gushed before criticizing Republicans for rejecting the legislation.
“Unfortunately, Republicans, as I say, vote no and take the dough. You see already some of them claiming, ‘Oh this is a good thing or that’s a good thing,’ but they couldn’t give it a vote. But anyway, enough of them,” she said dismissively.
Not a single Republican in the House backed the $1.9 trillion bill passed in the House 220-211 on Wednesday. Rep. Jared Golden (D-ME) joined Republicans in their opposition.
Republicans have long warned that the bill contains a range of items unrelated to the pandemic or public health, as House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) explained Wednesday.
The bill, he said, “showers money on special interests, but spends less than nine percent on actually defeating the virus”:
But it gives San Francisco $600 million, essentially wiping out 92 percent of their budget deficit. In both the House and Senate, the only bipartisan vote has been against it. And after 5 relief bills, it is on track to be the first passed by strictly party lines. Republicans have said that the bill before us today is costly, corrupt, and liberal. Now, even the Biden White House agrees: it is very liberal. They called it the ‘most progressive piece of legislation in history.’ So let’s be clear: This isn’t a rescue bill. It isn’t a relief bill. It’s a laundry list of leftwing priorities that predate the pandemic and do not meet the needs of American families.
Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) also released a statement following the House’s passage of the bill, highlighting the Democrat agenda items contained in the bill, including $360 billion in bailouts benefitting predominantly blue states, as well as $645 million for the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), and the Institute for Library and Museum Services.