Georgia Sen. David Perdue brags about passing COVID relief he refused to back before


He and his fellow Republican senator from Georgia, Kelly Loeffler, voted twice for failed stimulus packages early in the pandemic that would have cut hospital funding by $55 billion.

Sen. David Perdue (R-GA) issued a joint statement with fellow Georgia Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler Monday that bragged about his supposed contributions to coronavirus relief efforts, which now include funding for hospitals.

The statement also repeatedly accused Democrats of stalling a COVID-19 relief package.

"After months of Democrats playing politics with Americans' health and livelihoods by blocking additional relief for our families and small businesses, we finally have a path forward," the statement read.

"During a crisis, we need proven leaders who can get things done. Together, we are delivering nearly $1 trillion in additional aid to the American people on top of the $3 trillion already disbursed. Over $47 billion has already gone directly to Georgia's families, farmers, front-line workers, schools, hospitals, and more is on the way," it continued.

The statement goes on to repeat claims that Perdue assisted hospitals during the pandemic.

"We made sure our schools and hospitals have the resources they need to respond," he and Loeffler said in their statement.

The new bipartisan bill, agreed on after months of deadlock, does include $9 billion for health care providers as well as $4.5 billion for mental health.

And when the Senate passed the CARES Act by unanimous vote on March 25, Georgia hospitals received around $800 million — something Perdue and Loeffler have repeatedly boasted about.

But what Perdue's statement neglects to mention is that he and Loeffler were both fierce supporters of an earlier iteration of the stimulus package spearheaded by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell — one that contained $55 billion less in hospital funds than the CARES Act would ultimately provide.

Loeffler and Perdue voted twice for this failed stimulus package that provided only $75 billion in hospital funding.

Perdue went so far as to slam Senate Democrats afterward for their efforts to fight for a more generous package — one which would ultimately secure $130 billion for hospitals.

"America is facing an economic crisis," Perdue railed on Twitter in March. "Our medical community is battling the worst viral outbreak in recent history. Jobs are being lost. But Senate Democrats are choosing to use this moment as political leverage."

Perdue also expressed qualms about the first round of stimulus checks. While he ultimately voted for the CARES Act, he has said he "personally opposed" stimulus checks, and in August went on the PBS News Hour to say he'd prefer to see a payroll tax cut rather than another direct payment to Americans.

In their Monday statement, Perdue and Loeffler also accused Senate Democrats of being the ones to stall COVID relief.

"Sadly but not surprisingly, Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi made this much harder than it ever needed to be, purposely holding up relief that could have been delivered months ago," wrote Perdue and Loeffler.

However, it was Senate Republicans who offered up bills pared down beyond recognition.

A GOP September bill, for instance, was blocked by Senate Democrats as it was a $300-billion-dollar bill that offered no direct relief to Americans. It was also being used to advance Republican agendas like tax credits to help students attend private school, as well as liability protections for businesses during the pandemic.

And some have suggested McConnell's Senate majority would have advanced no COVID relief legislation by the end of the year at all were it not for concern for the January runoff election in Georgia.

"Kelly and David are getting hammered," McConnell allegedly told Senate Republican on a private call, referring to the public's perception that both were against direct payments.

Ultimately, Perdue and Loeffler advanced anti-Democratic talking points Monday in their statement but little by way of policy plans.

"What Loeffler and Perdue are mainly doing are attacking the Democrats as being too liberal for Georgia," Charles Bullock, a University of Georgia political science professor, recently told Roll Call. "Out of the Republican side, not a whole lot of policy is being discussed."

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.