Golden Statement on Vote Against Nearly $1.9 Trillion Legislative Package
WASHINGTON — After voting against the $1.9 trillion legislative package to address the coronavirus pandemic last month, Congressman Jared Golden (ME-02) will once again vote against the legislation after it was amended by the Senate. Before the vote, he released the following statement:
“I will vote against the coronavirus relief legislation passed by the Senate over the weekend.
“While the Senate made modest changes to the legislation, some of those changes undermined parts of the bill I do support, and others were insufficient to address my concerns with the overall size and scope of the bill. Although I support the Senate’s effort to reduce the number of wealthier households that will receive stimulus checks, they did not go far enough, and other changes — like removing the minimum wage increase or providing a lower unemployment benefit — undermined policies that I support. I voted for a $15 minimum wage in the last Congress, and given the opportunity, I intend to do so again.
“I know there are people who will continue to need assistance getting through the final stages of this pandemic, which is why I have argued that Congress should have addressed their needs with a targeted bill that extends unemployment benefits, funds vaccine distribution, and increases investments in our public health infrastructure.
“My vote today should not be construed as an unwillingness to support my constituents and the economy through this pandemic. That very willingness is why I have supported $4 trillion in spending in the last year on food assistance, child care subsidies, relief for renters and homeowners, federal unemployment assistance, and support for small businesses. However, many of these programs are not currently at risk of running out of funding, thanks to the nearly $1 trillion bill we passed in late December, and some of these programs are only just now beginning to be distributed to people in Maine.
“When combined with the over $4 trillion we have already spent battling the coronavirus, borrowing and spending hundreds of billions more in excess of meeting the most urgent needs poses a risk to both our economic recovery and the priorities I would like to work with the Biden Administration to achieve, like rebuilding our nation’s infrastructure and fixing our broken and unaffordable healthcare system.” - Congressman Jared Golden (ME-02)
Golden released a detailed explanation of his concerns with the legislation in February. That statement can be found here.