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Dems Agree to Provide 'COVID Relief' Checks to Prisoners and Illegal Aliens

AP Photo/Susan Walsh

The Senate on Saturday continued with their vote-a-rama, where they pulled an all-nighter to vote on the Democrats' $1.9 trillion pork-filled COVID relief bill, dubbed the American Rescue Plan. 


Republicans offered a number of common-sense amendments that Democrats shot down. These are just a few of them. 

Hold States Accountable for Nursing Home Deaths

Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) offered an amendment that would have held states accountable for nursing home deaths. His amendment comes after New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's (D) administration was caught altering the number of nursing home deaths that took place under his watch.

"What my amendment does is it says, 'You can't lie about the numbers.' Bottom line, it simply says it's very important for us to have accurate information about the deaths in nursing homes," Scott said from the Senate floor. "The more accurate the information, the more likely we are to have the best response."

Not surprisingly, Democrats voted down the amendment.

Override President Biden's Decision to Cancel the Keystone XL Pipeline


Montana Sen. Jon Tester (D) offered an amendment that would have allowed the construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline to move forward without the presidential permit. 

"When I disagree with my party, I tell them the truth, and the truth is that the jobs and tax revenue Keystone will create would provide a critical boost to the folks that live and work in rural Montana," Tester said in a statement. "This amendment would reverse President Biden's decision and take the decision-making on the pipeline away from the folks who canceled it. I'll continue working with Republicans, Democrats, and all interested stakeholders to move this project forward."

Sadly, Tester's party voted down the amendment.

School Funding Based on In-person Learning

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) offered an amendment that would require schools to operate in-person in order to receive stimulus funding. Schools that reopen five days a week would receive 100 percent of the available funding. Those that are hybrid, where they complete half of the school week online and the other half in-person, would receive 50 percent of the available funding. Schools that are completely online would receive 25 percent of the available funding. 


Democrats voted down the bill.

Prevent Prisoners from Receiving Stimulus Checks

Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) offered an amendment that would have prevented "any individual who is incarcerated in a federal or state prison" from receiving a stimulus check. In the CARES Act, prisoners received $1,200 COVID relief checks. 

“Prisoners do not pay taxes. Taxpayers pay for their every need. Inmates cannot stimulate the economy. But, under this bill they receive stimulus checks. This is a perfect example of nontargeted, inappropriate, and total waste of spending. It’s ridiculous that this is in the bill," Cassidy said in a statement.

Democrats voted against the amendment.

Prevent Illegal Aliens from Receiving Stimulus Checks

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz (R) introduced an amendment that would have prevented illegal aliens from receiving the next round of stimulus checks. Of course, Democrats voted against the amendment. 


Provide Emergency Assistance to Private Schools

Louisiana Sen. Bill Cassidy (R) offered an amendment that would have allowed private schools to receive reimbursement for COVID-related expenses, like disinfectant supplies, educational technology, personal protective equipment, and leased space that allowed for social distancing. 

“The December COVID relief package supported public, private, and parochial schools,” Cassidy said in a statement. “Republicans and Democrats gave flexibility so as many schools as possible could use the funding and cover COVID-related expenses. Why can’t we do that now?”

Democrats voted down the amendment.


Scholarships for School Reopenings

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) offered an amendment that would have been required to reopen in order to receive emergency COVID funding. Those that were unable to reopen would qualify for scholarships up to $10,000 per student in order to reopen.

"Millions of children are not learning reading, writing, arithmetic, history, science, art, music, and the damage will stay with them forever. They're falling months behind, up to a year behind," Cruz said. "This needs to end now. We need to open the schools now."

The Texas senator slammed the Democrats' $1.9 trillion pork-filled COVID relief bill dubbed that's dubbed as a "stimulus."

"They're shoveling billions and billions of dollars for the schools and not requiring that they open up, allowing the schools to stay shut," he explained.  

Of course, Democrats voted down the amendment.


Provide Targeted State and Local Relief

Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) proposed an amendment that would ensure state and local assistance goes to those areas that are in desperate need. Under his amendment, states would have had to apply for the money through the Treasury Department. Their funding would not be allowed to exceed their revenue losses and would have to be applied to real COVID costs and unexpected Medicaid costs.

Democrats voted down the measure.

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