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Congressman Mo Brooks: Socialist Democrats' $1.9 Trillion Spending Bill is Debt Junkie Dream

February 17, 2021
Press Release

Washington, DC— Wednesday, Congressman Mo Brooks (AL-05) blasted the Socialist Democrat effort to damage America’s economy under the guise of yet another deceitfully named “COVID-19 stimulus” bill. The House and Senate could vote on the final bill as early as next week.

Background: The bill includes, but is not limited to:

  • Raising the minimum wage to $15/hour;
  • Paying people $400/week to NOT work in 2021;
  • Giving irresponsible, Socialist states and local governments a $350 billion bailout;
  • Extending and expanding mandates that require businesses to give paid leave to employees not working;
  • $20 billion for public transit agencies; and,
  • Increasing and extending welfare payments to nonworkers by 15%.[1]

Congressman Brooks said, “The Socialist Democrats’ $1.9 trillion (that’s trillion with a T) spending bill is NOT a stimulus, it is a ‘depressant.’ Encouraging people to work and produce goods and services stimulates the economy.  Discouraging work, as this Debt Junkie Bill does, depresses economic activity and hurts the economy. In sum, this bill is a laundry list of feel-good, short-sighted policies and spending that hamstrings the American economy. More wasteful government spending is not the solution. Moreover, according to the Congressional Budget Office, more than $1 trillion in past COVID-19 relief funds haven’t been spent.[2] The bill is being crafted to align with President Biden and comrade Bernie Sanders’ wish list of Socialist policies.”

Brooks continued, “The Socialist Democrats cannot plead economic ignorance. They have been warned about how bad this bill is for the economy. According to the Congressional Budget Office, America will lose 3.7 million jobs if a nationwide $15/hour minimum wage (included in this bill) is enacted.[3] Let me say that again, if Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez get their way, 3.7 million jobs will disappear according to the economists Congress employs to predict the effects of proposed policies. When Seattle implemented a $15/hour minimum wage, the average lower-wage worker in the city lost $125 a month according to a study conducted by University of Washington economists.[4] In New York City, businesses have cut jobs and hours after implementing a $15/hour minimum wage.[5] By way of but one example, according to analysis by the well-respected Heritage Foundation, a $15 federal minimum wage would raise the cost of childcare by an average of 21%, adding $3,728 per year in childcare costs for a family with two children.[6] Businesses and families are struggling as it is without Socialist Democrats piling on with disastrous economic policies.”

Brooks added, “As if putting people out of work and shuttering business wasn't bad enough, Socialist Democrats want to further strangle America’s economy by paying people more to not work than to work. Included on Joe Biden’s ‘COVID-19 depressant’ wish list is $400 bonus payments above and beyond regular unemployment insurance payments to those who don’t work through the end of 2021. Businesses are already struggling to find qualified workers. According to the National Federation of Independent Business, ‘33% of all [business] owners reported job openings they could not fill [in January].’[7] The job opportunities are out there, but it shouldn’t surprise anyone when people choose not to work if they can make more staying home.”

Brooks concluded, “The terrible provisions Socialist Democrats are set to include in their $1.9 trillion spending bill don’t stop there. Some of America’s largest cities, Socialist Democrat bastions that love spending other people’s money, are struggling financially due to self-imposed economic shutdowns that killed their local economy and tax revenue. In New York City, Governor Cuomo and Socialist Mayor De Blasio have crippled business and job creators with forced closures. There, the unemployment rate is 11%,[8] nearly twice as high as the rest of the country.[9] Personal income tax revenue for New York City is expected to drop by $2 billion this fiscal year.[10] But, let’s be clear, many big Socialist-run cities were struggling before the pandemic. These big cities are now asking for taxpayer funded bailouts. Cities that were already financially mismanaged and have hurt themselves with shutdowns do not deserve federal bailouts. It is my hope that the American people will speak out against the Socialist Democrats’ financially reckless, economically disastrous, freedom-killing $1.9 trillion spending bill.”

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[1] CNBC. January 14, 2021. https://www.cnbc.com/2021/01/14/biden-stimulus-package-details-checks-unemployment-minimum-wage.html

[2] House Budget Committee Republican. https://brooks.house.gov/sites/brooks.house.gov/files/Unspent%20Previously%20Enacted%20Stimulus.pdf

[3] Congressional Budget Office. February 2021. https://www.cbo.gov/system/files/2021-02/56975-Minimum-Wage.pdf

[4] Washington Post. June 2017. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2017/06/26/new-study-casts-doubt-on-whether-a-15-minimum-wage-really-helps-workers/

[5] Wall Street Journal. Aug. 5, 2019. “Business owners and leaders say labor costs have forced cuts in jobs and work shifts.” https://www.wsj.com/articles/new-york-city-businesses-struggle-to-keep-up-after-minimum-wage-increase-11565035475

[6] Heritage Foundation. February 11, 2021. “According to this analysis, childcare costs would increase by an average of 21 percent across the states, increasing childcare bills by an average of $3,728 for parents with two children.” https://www.heritage.org/jobs-and-labor/report/the-impact-15-federal-minimum-wage-the-cost-childcare

[7] National Federation of Independent Business. February 04, 2021. “33% of all owners reported job openings they could not fill in the current period, up one point from December.” https://www.nfib.com/content/press-release/economy/small-business-hiring-remains-steady-in-january/

[8] New York Department of Labor. December 2020. https://www.labor.ny.gov/stats/pressreleases/prtbur.pdf 

[9] U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. January 2021. https://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/empsit.pdf 

[10] New York Times. Sept. 28, 2020. “The unemployment rate in New York City is 16 percent, twice as high as the rest of the country. Personal income tax revenue is expected to drop by $2 billion this fiscal year. Only a third of hotel rooms are occupied, and apartment vacancies in Manhattan have hit a peak.” https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/28/nyregion/nyc-budget-coronavirus.html