tv U.S. Senate Sen. Blackburn on Pandemic Relief CSPAN March 10, 2021 9:22am-9:37am EST
>> today the house is expected to hold the final vote on the senate passed version of the $1.9 relief bill. senator marsha blackburn spoke against on the senate floor. thank you, mr. president. this past saturday senate democrats signed off on the largest and most partisan transfer of wealth in the history of the united states congress. in weeks leading up to that vote, they insisted that their $1.9 trillion give away would bring the relief the american people were seeking. they quoted suspect polling and anecdotes to support their ridiculous claims that the bill was bipartisan. even though they never even tried to secure bipartisan support. in fact, i would argue that
democrats threw away the idea of bipartisanship the moment they chose to use the reconciliation process to force their hand. after almost 30 hours of debate, they did just that on a party line vote. then the cracks in their claims to bipartisanship and necessity began to show. almost immediately after the final vote the majority leader called it, and i'm quoting, one of the most progressive pieces of legislation, if not the most progressive, in decades, end quote. but we all know that his definition of progressive isn't compatible with the kind of targeted relief everyone here would probably agree that this country needs. had my colleagues on the other side of the aisle not seen an opportunity to fulfill the
radical campaign promises that had put them into power. they chose, they chose that power over dealings with the needs that people have. they did what they set out to do, a fraction of the american rescue plan's $2 trillion price tag will go towards that and i'm quoting again, big, bold, urgent relief that democrats spent all weekend long bragging about. i'm sure you heard them as you turned on the tv. here is the truth. only 9%, 9% will go towards vaccines testing, health care jobs. 9% of a nearly $2 trillion bill goes for covid relief.
but if we want to talk about big, bold spending plans, let's talk about all those special earmarks and sweetheart deals that democrats used to take advantage of the situation and seize even more power, again, after the power, using people as pawns to get their liberal wish list. get the money in the pipeline. of course, you can forget that we had $1 trillion already in the pipeline that had not been spent. also putting their desired power ahead of our children and grandchildren that are going to have to pay that debt. immoral. in my office we call this bill the blue state bailout. we do it for a reason. you can look at this chart.
along with that laughable 9% of actual covid relief, the american people took on $350 billion in debt to cover a bailout for some of the highest spending and most poorly managed state and local governments in the country. the number is astronomically higher than even the most extreme estimates of need conjured up by left wing think tanks. it's more than the $31 billion loss in expected tax revenue that experts forecasted and it doesn't even take into consideration that many states don't need a bailout. many states have success putting those five previous bipartisan covid relief packages to work. they caught up on their tax revenue with time to spare. but still, that $350 billion,
it served a purpose. you can see it right here. the blue states, they're getting more money. the red states, they're losing money. it created yet another expectation of dependency that mismanaged states and local governments can lean on when they're out of control spending policies come back to bite them. and we've learned today that the majority leader had a staff member who tweeted out that the money from this bill, it would tend to new york state's deficit. pretty much the same thing we're hearing from california and from some of the big blue cities. if you can't control your spending habits crank up the printing presses.
the payday continued with a $85 billion no strings attached pension bailout that everyone from committee for a responsible federal budget to the editorial board of the wall street journal, to the editorial board of "the washington post" agrees had nothing to do with covid relief. nothing. it was a gift to an embattled constituency and another pernicious assertion that when the going gets tough, and the money in those mismanaged funds evaporate, just call on the federal government and crank up the printing presses one more time. why? oh, we need the money. we cannot manage our budget. we're running low on fulfilling our obligation to the pension fund. oh, my goodness, we have so
many needs. everybody has needs. our children and our grandchildren have needs. they need freedom. they need members of the senate, members of the house to act like adults and address the problems that are right in front of us. when president biden asked back in february what would they have me cut from the spending bill? i would of told him let's start with this money. let's start with the money that is going to the states to bail them out because, yes, indeed, this is now the biden blue state bailout. democrats desire for a lawless and open border shone through in their unanimous refusal to
accept an amendment that would have kept billions of dollars in direct payments out of the hands of illegal immigrants. this was more than just a handout, it was a signal to every person who is trying to jump the line and break the rules that we will not only tolerate it, but now we're encouraging it. think about that. think about that. the rule of law is out the window. we're willing to chip away at our own security. the democrats are. and ignore the growing crisis at our southern border, the democrats are. if it means we can slap a bandaid on what has become a gaping wound and call it a win in the war against poverty, the democrats are okay with doing that. it's called spend, but it does
not address the underlying issues. it doesn't address the fact that they're doing this at the expense of schools, small businesses, and families, democrats certainly followed through on their campaign promise to empower teachers unions. in fact, they went so far as to approve a provision that would pay schools to stay closed. all 50 democrats voted against the amendment that would have sent new funding only to schools that have followed the science and have reopened safely. you know, mr. president, you would have thought that the democrats would have at least done that for the children, but, no, in addition to saddling them with debt, another $2 trillion worth of debt.
they encouraged the teachers unions to not go back to school. that vote put the power right where the democrats want it, in the hands of the unions and millions of students and teachers out there will continue to pay the mental and emotional price for this action. this bill took so much from people who have absolutely nothing left to give. think of all of those billions of dollars wasted on unnecessary state bailouts, pension rescue and union appeasement. we had the opportunity to spend the money on vaccine distribution and small business relief and a light at the end of the tunnel for rural health care systems that are hanging on by a thread. so why did democrats throw so much money at their pet
projects? do they really owe that many favors and paybacks? they certainly didn't pour their time and energy into those 600 pages to provide relief, but to shamelessly advance their own agenda and throw aside struggling families and workers. struggling families and workers were simply the price forgetting -- for getting the power they wanted. when i talked to tennesseans, mr. president, about what happened in this chamber last week, i tell them, you're right. what you were seeing, as you watched the proceedings, you're right. democrats took advantage of you. of your desperation and your exhaustion. they used slick messaging and
wordy phrases to sell a bill of goods that treats every pet project they have and every liberal wish list agenda item as essential. they like changing the rules. they change the meaning of words like essential because they knew if they could make everything that they wanted essential, they could take all the power away from the local responsibility governments. they could take it away from school districts and small businesses and you know what they're doing with it? they're going to centralize it. here is the thing. you were essential to their greedy power grab. they had to have you. they had to give their bill a nice sounding name.
they had to say certain things were essential, but youth, small businesses, families, people playing by the rules, you were not essential to them. see, that's what progressives means to senate democrats, and if we continue along this road, you're right, it will be an absolute unmitigated disaster for every single person that my colleagues across the aisle have used as leverage against responsible policy that will actually bring us out of this pandemic. no, it's not about getting out of the pandemic. it's about power. the power that they want. i yield the floor. >> later today, secretary of state antony blinken testifies
on the biden administration's foreign policy agenda. watch the house foreign affairs committee live at 1:30 p.m. eastern on c-span 3. thursday a look at reliability of the u.s. electric grid, the senate energy and natural resources hearing begins at 10:00 eastern also on c-span 3. >> white house chief of staff ron klain talked about the chief administration's coronavirus responsible with punchbowl news, this about a half hour. >> i'm joined by fellow founder, jake, and we're thrilled it kick off punchbowl's focused on president biden first 100 days. a big thank you for edelman for making this possible. we want to bring you close to a key decision maker
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