WASHINGTON — Despite widespread bipartisan support for a coronavirus relief package passed by lawmakers after midnight Saturday morning, northeast Indiana Rep. Jim Banks, R-Columbia City, was one of 40 lawmakers to cast a “no vote.”
The aid package will provide free testing, sick pay for workers, enhanced unemployment benefits and bolstered food programs.
Despite contentious negotiations through the day Friday, President Donald Trump indicated his approval for the bill, which paved the way for its passage in the House.
Banks, however, voted against and issued the following statement after the roll call:
“On the heels of a massive $8.3 billion emergency spending package, Speaker Pelosi rushed a second short-sighted emergency bill, passed in the middle of the night and behind closed doors, that does more harm than good.
“While there are some good things in the bill, we don’t know the final price tag. Some language will mean major harm for small businesses and our economy. Moreover, it greases the skids for massive bailout packages for industries forced to implement these costly policies. Our national debt is nearing $23.5 trillion — our children’s generation can’t afford it.
“Congress should have stuck with writing a narrow bill that ensures testing availability and support for American families directly affected by COVID-19. Instead, it chose to radically expand the welfare state and set the scene for future spending,” Banks said.
The bill now moves to the Senate.
SOURCE: (Angola) Herald Republican