WASHINGTON (WMBF) - Congressman Tom Rice was among lawmakers in the House to vote against a proposed $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package.
The bill eventually passed the House in a 219-212 vote early Saturday, moving it to the Senate as early as next week.
MORE COVERAGE: House passes $1.9T pandemic bill on near party-line vote
Rice said in a statement that “Democrats are taking advantage of a pandemic to fulfill their liberal agenda” in the bill, claiming that less than 10% of the money “focuses on defeating the virus.”
“The Biden Administration and Speaker Pelosi ignored any bipartisan input,” said Rice. “Most of the money from previous relief packages has not yet been spent. Before additional appropriations are made, the existing money should be allocated in a way that focuses on communities that have been hit the hardest. Instead of focusing on policies that are not related to a pandemic, we should be focused on policy that stimulates the economy and defeats the virus.”
Rice’s statement also claimed that over $125 billion would be going to schools, but without a guarantee for in-person learning, while $68 billion of money previously allocated to schools has “not been spent and is available.”
On the other side of the aisle, Rep. James Clyburn, South Carolina’s lone Democrat in the House, said in a statement that the bill will “allow our country to heal and put us on the path to recovery and renewal.”
“Our country has lost more than half a million lives to this deadly virus,” he said. “We must bring this pandemic to an end.”