Though House Democrats in the end had the votes to assure final passage of a sweeping Covid-19 relief package overnight—securing approval with a final 219-212 tally—it was the Republican Party membership in total lockstep, joined by two lonely members of the majority party, that voted to deny struggling American families, frontline workers, state governments, local communities, small businesses, and the nation’s schools and public health system nearly $2 trillion in urgent assistance to stabilize the economy, beat back the pandemic, and ensure solid footing for a robust recovery.
The two Democrats who sided with the GOP were Rep. Jared Golden, who represents Maine’s 2nd District, and Rep. Kurt Shrader, who represents Oregon’s 5th District. Direct from the roll call:
In a statement, Golden called the third round of direct stimulus payments to households in his state and nationwide “a waste” of resources and justified his “no” vote as being fiscally responsible as he fearmongered over the deficit by saying at “some point” the bill for the relief spending authorized by Congress over the last year to stem the damage caused by one of the worst pandemics to hit the nation (and the world) in over a hundred years “has to come due.” The “no” vote did not go over well with many Maine voters:
For his part, and as of this writing, Schrader neither posted the justification for his vote on social media nor issued a statement via his congressional website. But while the two Democrats were the clear outliers in their party, the GOP proved that they are united in opposition to an increase in the federal minimum wage for American workers and the slate of far-reaching public health and economic rescue efforts included in the bill.
Here are the 210 Republicans—every single member of the GOP caucus—who voted against:
“Early this morning,” tweeted former labor secretary Robert Reich on Saturady, “just 15 days before jobless aid runs out for tens of millions during the worst pandemic in a century, the House voted 219-212 to pass Biden’s American Rescue Plan. Every single House Republican voted against it. All you need to know.”