GOP House budget leader Jason Smith has slammed the House Democrats’ gargantuan $1.9trillion Covid relief bill has been slammed as a "job killer".
Rep. Smith, R-Mo., said the colossal spending spree was the "wrong plan" which will end up increasing working families’ cost of living.
House Democrats took another step on Friday in their bid to force through the stimulus bill, which is President Joe Biden’s top priority, as it starts moving through a Congress his party narrowly controls.
The spending package includes an increase in the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour, $1,400 direct checks for Americans making $75,000 or less a year and an extension of $400 federal unemployment benefits.
More money will also be available for small businesses struggling amid the pandemic.
But Rep. Smith, R-Mo., blasted the costly plan as a job killer.
He told Fox News: "Democrats are rushing to pass a nearly $2 trillion spending bill that will enact bailouts for state governments that lock down their citizens and radical policies that will destroy jobs and raise the cost of living for working-class Americans.
"But this is clearly where any sort of urgency on their part ends.
"This is all just further proof that Covid-19 is more the pretext than the purpose behind what Democrats are proposing.
“Their approach is the wrong plan, at the wrong time, for all the wrong reasons."
It will enact bailouts for state governments that lock down their citizens and radical policies that will destroy jobs and raise the cost of living for working-class Americans
The panel will take up the bill tomorrow and it is expected to come to the House floor for a vote later next week.
But Democrats have a narrow margin to pass the bill, and Republican leaders argue it involves spending too much money.
Earlier this month, Smith told the Southeast Missourian newspaper that by combining the nearly $2 trillion in the current bill and the $4 trillion in relief that has already been appropriated, Americans would be facing a tab of $17,000 per person and $70,000 per family-of-four.
The combined $6 trillion in spending, he said, represented a higher gross domestic product than every nation on Earth except the U.S. and China.
He said: "That’s a lot of spending."
But Democratic leaders hope for House passage later this month, with Senate approval and a bill on President Biden's desk by mid-March
On Friday, Biden said he would be open to a lower price tag than $1.9 trillion being proposed.
But he claimed Republicans’ concerns were contrary to those of the American public, who want urgent action from lawmakers.
Biden said: "My hope is that Republicans in Congress listen to their constituents.
"According to the polls, there is overwhelming bipartisan support."
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