Rep. Estes Votes Against $3 Trillion Socialist Wish List
WASHINGTON – Congressman Ron Estes (R-Kansas) released the following statement after voting against Speaker Pelosi's $3 trillion socialist wish list.
"Kansans continue to feel the pain of forced shutdowns and the COVID-19 pandemic, which is why Congress should be at work focusing on the real needs of our constituents," said Rep. Estes. "Instead, the House took a show vote today with no chance of passage in the Senate, and the legislation puts the priorities of coastal liberals over hardworking Kansans. Instead of offering solutions to safely reopen the country and get people back to work, House Democrats cobbled together failed proposals from the extreme wing of their party without hearings, input, or concern for the stability of our nation.
"Provisions in the bill that don't help Kansans in this crisis include nearly a trillion dollars to bail out states for unrelated bad budget decisions, $10 million for the National Endowment for the Arts, a blanket release for certain covered federal prisoners and alleged criminals, federalizing elections to loosen security measures and diminish voters' voices, sending stimulus checks to illegal aliens instead of focusing on the needs of U.S. citizens, and discouraging employees from returning to work by extending the $600 per week in unemployment insurance through Jan. 31, 2021. Make no mistake, we should be reviewing data and looking for gaps from the previous four bills to assist Americans during this difficult time. However, increasing our national debt for pet projects in an election year is no way to address the needs faced by so many Americans."
The legislation - H.R. 6800 – passed the House nearly along party lines 208-199, with 14 Democrats joining all but one Republican voting against the bill. The bill has more than 1,800 pages, will cost about $3 trillion, was distributed to Members on Tuesday of this week, and passed without any hearings. It follows four other bipartisan bills which already allocated about $3.6 trillion to actually assist families, employees, small businesses, health care professionals, testing and research. Of that funding, only about $1.4 trillion has been disbursed or committed. Rep. Estes voted for the previous four bills and continues to work with federal agencies to make sure Kansans receive the stability and relief they need.
Through legislation already passed in Congress, the state of Kansas has received $1.25 billion specifically for state, territorial, local and tribal governments. Kansans have also received $1,980,223,913 in Economic Impact Payments as of May 8. During the first and second rounds of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), $5,162,470,043 has been approved for 47,351 Kansas small businesses in the form of forgivable loans as of May 8. The Joint Economic Committee estimates that 427,000 Kansans will be able to keep their jobs due to PPP. On March 27, Unemployment Insurance (UI) was increased by $600 a week and eligibility was extended to self-employed individuals. Additionally, hospitals received $325 million in aid, community health centers received $15 million in grants, the state of Kansas received $81 million for testing, public universities received $49 million from the Higher Education Relief Fund, the Kansas Department of Labor (KSDOL) received $9.5 million for administrative costs, and Medicaid funding to Kansas was increased by $220 million. More funding has been assigned to Kansas through Department of Health and Human Services grants, Department of Housing and Urban Development grants, Department of Justice grants, Department of Transportation grants, Department of Agriculture programs, and more.
Ron Estes is a 5th generation Kansan and represents Kansas’ 4th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives. He serves on the House Committee on Ways and Means.