McCarthy says Democrats are ignoring COVID — after they pass $1.9 trillion relief bill


Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy is outraged that the House is considering election reform.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy objected to consideration of a voting and election reform proposal on Tuesday, suggesting the Democratic majority should instead prioritize the COVID-19 pandemic. Just days ago, he tried to block a $1.9 trillion pandemic relief bill.

McCarthy (R-CA) spoke on the House floor against the For the People Act, a bill designed to make it easier for citizens to vote, stop partisan gerrymanders, and reduce the corrupting influence of money in politics. He spoke at length about the fact that the bill was designated H.R. 1, as it had been last year, claiming that it indicated Democrats' view that it is "the very most important."

Bills are numbered sequentially in the order they are introduced in Congress.

"When I went out to talk to my constituents, in the world of COVID, out of work, out of school, not one of them would think H.R. 1 would be something for politicians to protect themselves to get reelected. But every single Democrat believes that's the case," he complained. "It wouldn't just be in my district, but I would say if you talk to any American, they'd say back to work, back to school, back to health."

He scolded Democrats co-sponsoring the bill, calling it "bad that they prioritized this over the children going back to school, or people going back to work, or making sure every American who wants a vaccine gets one."

But just days ago, the House of Representatives passed President Joe Biden's massive American Rescue Plan, which would allocate hundreds of billions of dollars, including for measures to curb the coronavirus pandemic, vaccinate Americans, and more safely reopen schools for in-person learning.

McCarthy and his House GOP caucus unanimously voted against the bill after Republican leaders urged members to do so.

In a Fox News opinion piece on Friday, McCarthy denounced the bill as not bipartisan enough and predicted it "will result in families, children and small businesses continuing to get left behind, saddled with a debt they cannot afford, all for the sake of an agenda they never voted for."

Polls show massive public support for the relief package. A Politico/Morning Consult survey last week found 76% of voters in favor — including 60% of Republican voters.

Contrary to McCarthy's suggestions that the American people don't want government reform, a February poll by Data for Progress and Vote Save America found 68% of Americans support the legislation and 16% oppose it. Even among Republican voters, the proposal enjoys 57% support, compared to just 25% opposition.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.