Steve Ellis, TCS president, had the following statement after finally being able to download today’s FY2021 Omnibus/COVID-19 relief legislation:
“Just go. Well, pass this 7,517-page $2.4 trillion package and go. See you in 2021 and the 117th Congress with a new President.
Fiscal year 2021 started October 1st. The last significant COVID-19 relief legislation enacted into law was in March. This deal could have and should have been struck months ago. Instead, it is being rushed through in the final few minutes of this Congress. Even then, lawmakers couldn’t just do the job, so there is extraneous legislation tacked on that has nothing to do with the pandemic or funding government. Wasteful tax extenders – the cockroaches of Washington policy – are also catching a ride.
Vaccines are finally being shipped around the country, but the economy is faltering, cases are surging, hospital beds are filling, and thousands of Americans are dying by the day. Amongst the needed provisions, this package provides assistance to distribute the vaccine, another lifeline to small business, and extends unemployment and food assistance for individuals suffering due to the pandemic. But it also has a sweetheart deal for defense contractors, guarantees high levels of farm subsidies deep into 2021, and tacked on dozens of other special interest provisions that won’t be found until days or weeks after the lawmakers have left the Capitol. Looking at you NASCAR. It’s a shameful way to do business, but it still needs to get done – which par for the course with this Congress. Lawmakers must do better for everyone in 2021.”