The two Republican senators from Kansas, Jerry Moran and Roger Marshall, voted against the latest coronavirus bill on Saturday.
The bill passed by a narrow 50-49 vote after an all-nighter in the U.S. Senate. It would provide $1.9 trillion for relief, and it includes $1,400 in relief payments to individuals. The Senate was in session for 27 hours straight before passage. Unemployment benefits were extended through September.
President Joe Biden supported the compromise version of the bill, and the White House sent out this statement: “The President supports the compromise agreement, and is grateful to all the Senators who worked so hard to reach this outcome. It extends supplemental unemployment benefit into September, and helps the vast majority of unemployment insurance recipients avoid unanticipated tax bills. Most importantly, this agreement allows us to move forward on the urgently needed American Rescue Plan, with $1,400 relief checks, funding we need to finish the vaccine rollout, open our schools, help those suffering from the pandemic, and more.”
In a statement, Sen. Moran explained why he voted against it, calling the relief package a “costly bill that has little to do with COVID-19.”
Sen. Moran’s statement: “Last month, I joined a group of 10 Republican senators in offering President Biden a targeted and far less expensive alternative to the Democrats’ $1.9 trillion budget plan. Unfortunately, Senator Schumer and Speaker Pelosi chose to ignore our work, which is supported by a majority of Americans, and ram through a costly bill that has little to do with COVID-19. This $1.9 trillion bill is filled with Democrat wish list items such as unnecessary infrastructure projects, state bailouts, climate change provisions and billions of dollars that won’t be spent for several years. Congress has already provided $4 trillion of COVID-19 relief through five bipartisan packages, and nearly $1 trillion have yet to be spent. That is why I introduced and supported efforts to stay focused on manufacturing and distributing the vaccines. It is the most important thing we can do to get healthy and our economy moving again.”
Sen. Marshall’s statement: “Having passed each of the previous COVID packages on a bipartisan basis, it is disappointing this $1.9 trillion bill has been a totally partisan process from the start. Forcing hardworking Kansans to pay for democrat pet projects and to bail out blue states who over reacted and totally shut down their economies and their schools is not fair and it’s not American,” Sen. Marshall said. “Without question we need to help those who truly need the help now but cheating Kansas of $400 million in state and local relief does the exact opposite. I remain focused on what will defeat this virus: getting shots in arms, getting people back to work, and getting kids back to school.”
Sen. Marshall stated that he supported Sen. Susan Collins’ amendment to the Democrat’s bill, which he said would have provided fair, direct, and targeted relief to Americans in need. Democrats defeated the alternative 48-51.