Rep. Smucker: If Dems’ $1.9T bill is a stimulus, where are the jobs?

February 26, 2021 — Blog    — Coronavirus Bulletin    — Health    — Op-eds and Speeches   

WASHINGTON–Rep. Smucker appeared before the House Committee on Rules to discuss the Democrats’ $1.9 trillion Pelosi Payoff that neither crushes Covid nor creates any jobs. To watch his remarks, click here.

The following is a transcript of his remarks as delivered:

Thank you, Ranking Member Cole. As a new member of the Ways and Means Committee, it’s certainly an honor for me to come before the Rules Committee representing the Republican Members and Republican Leader Brady. We’ve heard much about the Democrats’ choice to “go it alone” on this bill, and it’s unfortunate because in so doing they’ve lost sense of the priorities that brought us together in the past. 

We all agree that we have to crush this virus, we agree that schools need to reopen, and we agree that helping people return to the workplace is critically important. 

Yet, the bill before us today isn’t a stimulus. If it is, then where are the jobs? 

I join my Republican colleagues on the House Committee on Ways and Means to ask the Biden Administration for an estimate of how many jobs their proposed $2 trillion package would create. 

Weeks later, here we are in the Rules Committee barreling towards passage of this bill, and still no answer. In fact, I worry that we do have an answer. Not in words, but in actions. As part of his first several Executive Orders, President Biden cancelled the Keystone Pipeline eliminating 11,000 jobs. 

His Executive Order ending oil and gas leasing on federal lands will eliminate another 120,0000 jobs by 2025. 

On top of this, Democrats’ efforts to mandate pay for small businesses would eliminate 1.4 million jobs according to CBO. 

Fortunately, the Senate Parliamentarian may prevent that from happening in this bill. 

It’s one thing to provide relief to families that need it, but it’s another thing altogether to empower Washington to kill jobs in our rural communities. 

Since January of last year, the federal government has spent approximately $3.5 trillion to provide assistance to families, to health care providers, schools, and our communities. Those bills were bipartisan. Republicans supported aid where it was needed, and we continue to support aid where it is needed. 

Sadly, Democrats have opposed any targeting that would have made this bill work better. In the Ways and Means Committee, they opposed any amendment that we offered that would have improved outcomes for poor families, unemployed workers, and struggling industries. This bill just simply sends money to places where it doesn’t need to go. 

Ways and Means Republicans released an analysis that found that there’s still $46 billion – nearly one third – remaining in the total $150 billion Coronavirus Relief Fund that had been provided to state and local governments to deal with the pandemic. 

Yet, Democrats think that we should run ahead and pass another $350 billion for state and local governments. 

Another example: We want to help Americans who have been without work and want to get back to work. 

I offered an amendment to encourage employers to hire long-term unemployed individuals–a good idea we should all agree on, I would think. Democrats rejected that amendment. 

My Republican colleagues on the Committee offered amendments to ensure money to support kids in poverty would be distributed equitably. Democrats said no to that one as well. 

Democrats rejected amendments to protect Americans from fraud, amendments making it easier for small businesses to open safely. 

They rejected taking money from unnecessary policies and putting it towards distribution of the vaccines. 

They even rejected an amendment ensuring that the victims of domestic abuse don’t have to go through their former abusers to get their checks. 

Look, I respect my Democrat colleagues, I believe that we can provide support for American families, but I believe we should be doing this–and could be doing this–together. But Democrats have chosen a process that excludes reasonable fixes that have been offered by Republicans. 

I urge my colleagues: rethink your approach. Do a bill that we can all agree on. It’s not too late to do that. 

Do a bill that crushes the virus and creates jobs. We will certainly work with you given the opportunity, but the question is: will you work with us? 

Thank you.

SUBCOMMITTEE: Health    SUBCOMMITTEE: Oversight    SUBCOMMITTEE: Select Revenue Measures    SUBCOMMITTEE: Worker and Family Support