After President Biden’s remarks on new Administration actions on COVID, Ways and Means Republican Leader Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX) released the following statement:
“The Biden Administration and congressional Democrats took their eye off the ball on testing and Americans are frustrated. Now they are promising all the tests we could ever need long after we need them.
“They said they would be ready on day one, but it’s day 335 and there aren’t enough tests to go around. That’s because less than a dime of every dollar in Democrats’ $1.9 trillion bill in March went to COVID vaccines and defeating the virus, prioritizing a massive social spending agenda that worsened both inflation and the labor shortage.
“Americans now doubt whether Democrats have the competence to get us through this pandemic.”
In March 2021, Democrats passed a $1.9 trillion “rescue” package that neither stimulated the economy nor focused on crushing COVID. As Rep. Brady said on the floor at the time:
“Today, we have several vaccines. And, unless I’m mistaken, every member in this Chamber has had an opportunity to receive one. Every American that we serve, however, has not. And yet the Democrats’ COVID bill is 1 percent about the vaccines they didn’t believe would exist.”
Democrats rejected Republican amendments and chose instead to pass a bill that:
- Failed to direct and target funding for COVID diagnostics and testing
- Sidestepped vaccine distribution to seniors in rural and underserved areas
- Cut Medicare payments for frontline health care providers, instead lobbing that money at programs who can’t account for money Congress already gave them
- Paid no mind to inaccurate nursing home data about deaths from COVID amidst troubling reports of underreporting, such as in New York
- Created an unnecessary multi-billion-dollar subsidy for health care coverage on top of existing options for those losing employer-sponsored insurance
To read Republicans’ “minority views” summarizing commonsense fixes that Democrats rejected, click here.