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Congresswoman Claudia Tenney Releases Statement on Passage of Partisan, Progressive Spending Bill

March 10, 2021

Washington, D.C. -- Congresswoman Claudia Tenney today released the following statement after passage of the American Rescue Plan Act.

"My priority in Congress is to make sure families, small businesses, and seniors have the resources and support they need to recover from this pandemic and come back stronger," said Congresswoman Claudia Tenney. "This unprecedented crisis demands a targeted response from the federal government, which is why Congress came together last year to pass five bipartisan COVID relief bills delivering more than $4 trillion in assistance to the American people. There’s still about $1 trillion of this left to spend." 

"Unfortunately, the American Rescue Plan Act doesn’t build on last year's bipartisanship. It spends American tax dollars on priorities that have nothing to do with crushing the COVID-19 pandemic and isn't targeted to those who need help most. It includes $80 billion to bail out multi-employer pension plans, $1.7 billion on Amtrak, at least $270 million on arts and humanities programs, stimulus checks to criminals, and the list goes on. It will also deliver billions of dollars in stimulus checks to millions of Americans who are fully employed."

"I'm deeply disappointed that only a small fraction of this massive bill – about 9% – is focused on key health policies like testing, vaccine development and distribution, and additional resources for healthcare providers. These priorities will actually allow us to open our economy faster, get Americans back to work, and further reduce unemployment. I also fear, along with economists on both sides of the aisle, that this massive bill will lead to significantly higher inflation that will hurt working New York families in the long run."

"Rather than exploiting this crisis to force a massive spending bill through Congress, which Democrats have openly admitted is all about advancing their progressive agenda, we should focus on a much more targeted approach aimed at opening our economy and schools, and helping those most in need."

 

Additional Facts:

  • Congress last year passed five targeted relief bills delivering $4 trillion in COVID-related aid and stimulus. This was the most robust and responsive recovery package in American history, and $1 trillion remains unspent. 
     
  • The $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act, on the other hand, is the single largest, most partisan stimulus bill ever proposed. Democrats have referred to this bill as one of the most progressive pieces of legislation in American history. 
     
  • Our economy is projected to begin recovering from this pandemic in the coming months, especially as vaccinations increase significantly and we begin reopening. The unemployment rate is currently at 6.2%, well below the pandemic peak of more than 14%. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office projects this unemployment number to continue falling
     
  • It is important to put this spending bill into perspective. At the height of the 2008 "Great Recession" unemployment reached nearly 10%. Congress responded by passing an $840 billion relief bill. Today, unemployment is lower, and projected to fall further, yet Democrats are proposing to spend two times as much as we did in 2009, on top of the $4 trillion that has already been spent. This is reckless spending, without precedent.