Congress

Republicans Lose Money For Their Own States

SK Ashby
Written by SK Ashby

Republicans have long opposed providing relief funding to state and local governments in every spending proposal for most of the last year and this year's stimulus bill is no different, but their opposition means their own constituents will receive less money than everyone else.

The coronavirus relief bill moving through the reconciliation process right now includes $350 billion in funding for local governments, but it won't be distributed evenly.

Urban, Democratic-led states like Connecticut, New York and Massachusetts that took drastic steps to stop the coronavirus’ spread would get about three times as much money per person as they did in the package passed at the beginning of the health crisis in March.

Rural, Republican-led states including Wyoming, North Dakota and South Dakota that did less would see less cash.

That’s because Congress is giving greater weight to poverty and unemployment this time as it considers how to distribute money to keep police, firefighters and other public employees on the job during a pandemic that has killed more than 500,000 Americans and thrown millions out of work. [...]

Under the new bill, named the American Rescue Plan, 61% of the aid would end up in states that voted for Biden in November, up from 56% in the bipartisan CARES Act passed last March.

Republicans deliberately chose not to take a seat at the table so if they're offended that their own states will receive a smaller portion of funding, it's their own fault. They could have cooperated and secured more funding for virtually they wanted. The $1.9 spending package could have been made bigger just for them and their own constituents if they had agreed to work together on it.

With all of the said that -- and with the GOP's total opposition in mind -- I still remember how President Obama's stimulus bill played out. I'm sure all of you are old enough to remember that Republicans posed for photos with giant stimulus checks after they voted against the checks in the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). They touted community investments and grants for local businesses that they opposed.

I expect to see that again this year. They're going to vote against it and then take credit for it.