Another Democrat Admits There's 'Waste' in the COVID Relief Bill

Posted: Mar 09, 2021 2:00 PM
Another Democrat Admits There's 'Waste' in the COVID Relief Bill

Source: AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

More Democrats are admitting that there's wasteful spending in the $1.9 trillion COVID relief bill passed by the Senate over the weekend. As we've reported, only 9 percent of the legislation appears to be directed toward actual COVID health spending. The rest, as GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy demonstrated, is saved for progressive special interests.

How else can one explain the $100 million saved for the San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit system?

Increasingly, Democrats can't explain it. In a debate with "Shark Tank's" Kevin O'Leary on CNBC on Tuesday, Rep. Tom Suozzi (D-NY) actually found himself agreeing that there is "some waste" in the bill.

"There's some waste in there, there's no question there's some waste in there," Suozzi said. He just disagreed as to how much waste.

"It's less than $100 billion of waste, it's far less," he said.

"I would have loved to see the $1,400 stimulus checks targeted more toward people, and less money going to people who are actually working right now," Suozzi added.

He's not the only Democrat to have misgivings about the bill. He's not even the only New York Democrat. Rep. Adriano Espaillat (D-NY) told CNN that "there will be one line that will probably be somewhat embarrassing." He said he's "not comfortable" with it.

Two House Democrats voted with Republicans against the American Rescue Plan, including Rep. Jared Golden (ME). He explained why.

"During challenging times, the country needs its elected leaders to work together to meet the most urgent needs in their communities. This bill addresses urgent needs, and then buries them under a mountain of unnecessary or untimely spending," the congressman said in a statement. "In reviewing the bill in its full scope, less than 20 percent of the total spending addresses core COVID challenges that are immediately pressing: funding for vaccine distribution and testing, and emergency federal unemployment programs. I support these portions of the bill wholeheartedly and believe we should do more for the people hardest hit by the pandemic by continuing to extend unemployment programs until economic indicators show they are no longer necessary." 

The House will vote on the Senate-passed relief bill Wednesday morning.