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GOP congresswoman promotes COVID relief program she voted against

Rep. Beth Van Duyne (R-TX) had called the American Rescue Plan a Democratic ‘partisan wish list.’

By Emily Singer - April 28, 2021
Beth Van Duyne

Texas Republican Rep. Beth Van Duyne on Wednesday highlighted a portion of the coronavirus relief package intended to help struggling restaurants — even though she voted against the funding.

“The Restaurant Revitalization Fund is a program that provides emergency assistance for eligible restaurants, bars, and other qualifying businesses impacted by COVID-19. To learn more about this program, click on the link below,” Van Duyne tweeted.

The Restaurant Revitalization Fund was created by the American Rescue Plan, the $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package that passed in March without a single Republican vote in the House or the Senate.

The relief package allocated $28.6 billion in funding to restaurants, which have seen steep declines in revenue during the COVID-19 pandemic and the public health restrictions that limit indoor dining in order to slow the spread of the virus.

Van Duyne voted against the relief package, slamming it as Democrats’ “partisan wish list.”

“People across the country are struggling, working families are desperate, small businesses are shuttering — and yet the legislation we’re voting on today is nothing more than a partisan wish list,” Van Duyne said in a statement. “I will not support legislation that clearly prioritizes Democrats’ wishes over the American people who need it most.”

More than a month after it became law, Van Duyne is now promoting a provision within the very legislation she condemned.

Van Duyne is not the first Republican to promote the virus relief funding despite voting against it.

Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS) claimed credit for the restaurant relief funding, even though he voted against it.

Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (R-NY) listed funding for community health centers that was included in the virus relief plan as one of her accomplishments in her first 100 days in office — even though she did not vote for it.

Malliotakis defended including the funding in her list of accomplishments, telling Forbes that they were “among the 9% of funds dedicated to COVID-19 relief that I was always in support of.”

Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-NC) also touted community health center grants even though he voted against them, calling the American Relief Plan “nothing more than a Pelosi payoff.”

New York GOP Reps. Andrew Garbarino and Lee Zeldin celebrated local mass transit’s reversal of service cuts thanks to funding included in the plan even though neither man voted for it.

Republicans had claimed that the coronavirus relief bill — which extended unemployment benefits, authorized a new round of $1,400 direct payments, made the child tax credit more generous, and provided funding for vaccine distribution — would grow more unpopular with time.

“As more people find out what’s in this bill — and what’s not in this bill — they get more furious,” Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) told Politico in February. “Sunshine is the best disinfectant for liberal policies.”

However, more than a month after it passed, the legislation remains overwhelmingly popular.

A Navigator Research poll released on April 23 found 70% of registered voters support the virus relief package, only slightly less than the 72% support it had in late March.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

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