House Democrats early Friday morning voted down an amendment to the latest COVID relief package. Congresswoman Ashley Hinson (R-IA) proposed diverting the $140 million earmarked for a subway project in Speaker Nancy Pelosi's (D-CA) district to mental health programs for children struggling with school lockdowns. The amendment failed 218 to 205.
"Americans are crying out for targeted relief and, instead, this bill sends more money to Speaker Pelosi's pet project in California, the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) Silicon Valley Phase II. How insulting to the frontline workers who still have not received a COVID-19 vaccine, to the mom trying to pay rent while her small business is in danger," Hinson said from the House floor. "And what about the ER docs and nurses treating kids rushed in for mental health crisis? This is Washington pork spending at its worst, the kind the speaker puts in for herself."
Hinson cited the staggering number of students who are facing mental health crises because they are forced to attend school virtually.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, health care providers saw an uptick in mental health emergencies among kids between Mar. 2020 and Oct. 2020. Mental health emergencies increased to 24 percent for kids ages five to 11 and 31 percent for kids between the ages of 12 and 17.
"We've seen increasing rates of depression, anxiety, and other mental health challenges among our kids who have been trapped behind screens for a year now," she said.
Democrats’ spending bill sends $140 million to Speaker Pelosi’s pet subway project in California. This is Washington pork spending at its WORST. My amendment would take away this carve out & redirect this money to mental health programs for students. #studentsoversubways pic.twitter.com/tCOE3emm1N— Ashley Hinson (@RepAshleyHinson) February 27, 2021
Democrats should be ashamed of themselves for putting a subway before America's youth. California has struggled with its train boondoggle for years. The Democratic Party in California was so focused on "being green" and being the leader in combating climate change that Pelosi is willing to use her leadership position to get this kind of ridiculous funding for her area.
Congresswoman Hinson is right. This is the definition of pork spending at its worst. It's the epitome of why average Americans hate politicians. Instead of focusing on a clean relief bill, there are all kinds of garbage carved out for special interests and individual districts. But it's disgusting when politicians put a transportation project over American lives, especially the lives of our youth.