Third District Congressman Peter Meijer stood with fellow Republicans in voting against what he called “the partisan budget bill disguised as a COVID-19 package.”   The bill passed 219 to 212, on a nearly party-line vote well after midnight. Two Democrats voted with all House Republicans in opposing the bill.  Oregon's Kurt Schrader and Maine's Jared Golden crossed party lines and voted to reject the stimulus bill, known as the American Rescue Plan.

In a release, Congressman Meijer said the nearly 2 trillion-dollar omnibus has already been ruled out of order in the Senate and is riddled with miscellanies unrelated to the ongoing public health and economic crisis.

“Instead of focusing on a bipartisan bill, as has been done four times prior with COVID relief, or hewing to the spirit of unity that President Biden aspired to in his inaugural address, Speaker Pelosi has instead presented us with this institutional abomination. We could have prioritized vaccine delivery, COVID testing, PPE distribution, getting kids back to school, and supporting small businesses- but no. Instead, Speaker Pelosi and Democratic leadership worked behind closed doors to craft this grab bag of unrelated gifts to entrenched interests.

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“This is not what the American people need. Instead, we need direct dollars over government excess ($DOGE): bigger checks to those who need it most, increased vaccine purchasing and distribution, COVID-19 testing and PPE, K-12 funding for our schools to reopen safely for in-person learning, and support for our small businesses so they can weather this awful pandemic. This shouldn’t be controversial because these are areas of funding we can all agree upon.

“People across West Michigan need this relief, and they need it now. After the Senate parliamentarian’s ruling, we know this bill is dead on arrival in the Senate. I urge Speaker Pelosi to consider the $DOGE plan which will nearly double relief checks (from $1400 to $2400) while cutting the ultimate cost by a trillion dollars.”

Included in Pelosi’s 2 trillion-dollar wish-list:

  • More than doubles the national minimum wage to $15/hour, eliminating nearly 1.4 million jobs, according to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office
  • Less than 9% of the plan goes to combatting COVID-19 through public health spending
  • $140 million to fund a transit project in the San Francisco Bay Area
  • $70 million towards New Jersey’s portion of the Gateway Tunnel Project
  • Funding to Planned Parenthood with no Hyde Amendment protections

LOOK: Answers to 30 common COVID-19 vaccine questions

While much is still unknown about the coronavirus and the future, what is known is that the currently available vaccines have gone through all three trial phases and are safe and effective. It will be necessary for as many Americans as possible to be vaccinated in order to finally return to some level of pre-pandemic normalcy, and hopefully these 30 answers provided here will help readers get vaccinated as soon they are able.