Congressman John Joyce, M.D. (Party of Trump PA-13) spoke on the House floor during the debate on Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act noting that "The President has declared a national emergency. If government is forcing them to shutter their doors, then our responsibility is to help them out." Other members from the Party Of Trump noted that, in their opinion, there is unnecessary spending programs which tempered their support of the Senate-passed legislation. Minnesota's Sixth District Congressman Tom Emmer echoed that concern in his statement for the record [see below] ... but did not identify what he felt was "unneccessary" and that had nothing to do with the current health crisis. Congressman Emmer warned of "Efforts to fund pet projects and attempts to further a political agenda at a time like this are completely unacceptable, and I, like so many of my constituents, am disgusted and appalled with the partisan maneuvering" Hmmm ... wonder if Congressman Emmer was "appalled" with $170 Billion windfall for real estate investors ... and how that might impact his Delano investment property? Or what about the $14 Billion increase in Commodity Credit Corp borrowing authority which the Trump Administration has used to provide funding for the Market Facilitation Program which has been used to provide bailout monies to agribusinesses like the Chinese-owned pork producer Smithfield and farmers like Senate Finance Chairman Chuck Grassley. Sure sounds like the Trump Trade War is not likely to come to a conclusion soon ... so a third payment is being set-up. Or what about the $1.1 Billion for additional shortfalls in Defense Private Sector Care (just part of Trump's efforts to privatizing veterans’ health care) ? NO, those can't be what Congressman Emmer was referring to when he expressed outrage at spending "millions of taxpayer dollars on programs unrelated to combating the coronavirus" ... no outrage at spending Billions. So what are some of the small programs ... ya know, in the millions that are included in the bill ... like $75 million for Personal Responsibility Education Program (PREP) to promote teenage abstinence education ? Good that isn't someones "pet projects". Or, even a smaller funding like $25 million so that congressional offices can combat coronavirus in their Washington and district offices. Oh, yeah, they even changed the rules on Franked Mail so that Covid-19 mailings can be covered (so Minnesota's First District residents should expect another mailer from Congressman Jim Hagedorn ... whose printing ( $210,668.38) and postage ($53.324.54) in 2019 should alarm any fiscal conservative -- read more at http://mnpoliticalroundtable.com/2020/03/02/mn01-hagedorn-mra-free-money/ And some Members took time to make sure that certain constituents "interests" were heard, like Billy Long (Party Of Trump, MO-07) who made a plea on behalf of The Outdoor Amusement Business Association (OABA) which represents some 200 carnivals, 15 circuses and hundreds of traveling food/game concessionaires in the United States. The OABA estimates 350 carnival events have currently been closed through May 1. Based on historical attendance data and this estimated performance cancellations, the lost revenue to carnival operators is near $250 million. Funny thing is that there was no mention of these spending items ... but there was repeated questioning of spending for the Smithsonian, Kennedy Center, and even the Peace Corps. Yep, it's true that the Smithsonian Institution will receive $7.5 million for NINETEEN facilities for "deep cleaning of facilities, and overtime for security, medical staff, and zoo keepers" ... gotta wonder if Congressman Emmer did not specifically mention that since he sponsored HR 1980 - Smithsonian Women's History Museum Act --- that could be their twentieth facility. The Kennedy Center is scheduled to receive $25 million ... which once again is tagged for "deep cleaning of facilities", thus ya gotta ask yourself, would you want to go to any facility that has not been cleaned for coronavirus ? That's right, no complaints about 25 million to clean congressional offices but the Kennedy Center doesn't need to be cleaned. Both the Smithsonian and the Kennedy Center closed in March and are not scheduled to be reopened until mid-May ... so they will face lost income from gift shops and event sales ... aren't these operations impacted just like carnival operators ? And yes, the Peace Corps is getting some money ... $88 million ... as the agency made the unprecedented decision to suspend its programs indefinitely, evacuating all 7,300 volunteers serving in more than 60 countries ... so they will have travel expenses and the Peace Corp will provide two months "limited" health coverage for their volunteers. The Peace Corps, which is funded at $410 million, has not seen a funding increase during the Trump Administration ... so does Congressman Emmer advocate closing the program ? Just tell us because the University of Minnesota is one of the leading sources of volunteers and they should know before he shuts it down. Heck, one Congressman even complained that the IRS was getting more money ... which is needed to recover the costs associated with the extended filing season and to provide funds for the IRS to locate and provide rebates to low-income seniors who normally do not file a tax return. So, is Congressman Emmer opposed to the Trump Administration's desire to extend the tax reporting deadline and providing monies to seniors ? In the background of Republicans promoting a "Victory Vaccine", the CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) Act legislation was approved via a voice vote ... but hearing some of the Republicans speak, ya gotta think that at least a dozen would have voted NO. For Congressman Emmer it's a win-win ... he could say he begrudgingly supported the legislation while at the same time bemoaning that it "spends millions of taxpayer dollars on programs unrelated to combating the coronavirus" without ever identifying those programs ... especially in the context of "If government is forcing them to shutter their doors, then our responsibility is to help them out."
Mr. EMMER. Mr. Speaker, as we adopt the third installment of COVID relief in one month, millions of Americans are counting on Congress to chart a course forward and lead the nation out of this crisis. Today’s vote delivers significant resources to the American people, our economy, and our nation’s health care delivery system. The hundreds of billions of dollars included for our health providers, paired with a massive injection of economic assistance for our small businesses will give medical professionals and financial institutions the tools they need to help our nation weather this storm. Unfortunately, this bill also spends millions of taxpayer dollars on programs unrelated to combating the coronavirus. Efforts to fund pet projects and attempts to further a political agenda at a time like this are completely unacceptable, and I, like so many of my constituents, am disgusted and appalled with the partisan maneuvering that delayed passage of this legislation. The important relief included in this bill is now not only several days overdue, but it saddles future generations with an even larger federal debt burden they will be forced to grapple with, in the years to come, all because of “politics as usual” in Washington. I supported today’s relief package because I believe in the resolve of the American people and the resiliency of the American economy. I will continue to support the countless men and women working around the clock to provide lifesaving medical care, and I look forward to working with our community lenders and small businesses as they remind the world of just how dynamic they can be. By working together, we will overcome this crisis and reemerge a stronger and more prosperous nation.