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Washington, D.C. – Members of the Project 21 black leadership network criticized the $1.9 trillion spending package currently under consideration on Capitol Hill, noting that large portions of the plan are irrelevant to its stated goal of COVID-19 relief and are thus an irresponsible waste of taxpayer resources.
“Rather than a package to address the challenges our nation’s economy faces, this nearly $2 trillion proposal is far more likely to make Americans worse off, not better,” said Project 21 Co-Chairman Horace Cooper.
A Wall Street Journal analysis determined that $825 billion in the package could be defined as “COVID-related provisions” while over a trillion dollars “is a combination of bailouts for [liberal] constituencies, expansions of progressive programs, pork and unrelated policy changes.”
President Joe Biden defended the spending bill, arguing during a recent CNN interview, “Now is the time we should be spending. Now is the time to go big.”
Project 21 members specifically challenged the $350 billion in bailouts for every state and the District of Columbia, claiming that they paper over pre-pandemic wasteful spending as well as revenue shortfalls caused by unnecessary pandemic lockdowns.
“Biden’s plan flatly ignores the economists’ maxim that the more you subsidize something, the more you get of it,” said Cooper. “Rewarding states like Michigan, Illinois and New York, which ignored the science of pandemics throughout 2020 and have consistently mismanaged state resources for years, is great for state employees – a key progressive constituency – but crippling for black, white and brown small business operators.”
“President Biden is engaging in the same fiscal irresponsibility as Barack Obama,” added Project 21 member Derryck Green. “Like Obama’s plan in 2009, Biden’s package isn’t surgically targeted to address specific economic concerns. Biden’s package instead funds a laundry list of progressive pet causes such as honoring teachers’ unions, giving illegal immigrants stimulus money, increasing the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour at a time when small businesses can’t afford it, subsidizing an underground rail project in Silicon Valley and rewarding states for their fiscal irresponsibility. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy nailed it when he pointed out that only nine percent of the bill is for fighting COVID. Nine percent! We don’t need more government – we need less.”
In addition to the state bailouts, Project 21 members called out other spending as irresponsible, including:
- An additional $128.5 billion for public schools across multiple years, despite Congressional Budget Office reports that “most of those funds remain to be spent” from the previous relief bills
- Up to $10 million in Paycheck Protection Program funding for every teachers’ union, even though these unions have fought against reopening schools
- $50 million in “environmental justice” grants that can benefit left-wing special interest groups
- Over $1 billion in race-based grants and an “equity commission” for “socially disadvantaged” farmers
- $50 million for “family planning,” with no prohibitions for abortion funding
- $200 million for the Institute of Museum and Library Services
- A combined $270 million for the National Endowment for the Arts and National Endowment for the Humanities
- Stimulus checks for illegal immigrant households
- A minimum wage increase that the Congressional Budget Office reports will kill 1.4 million American jobs
“I would like to know what environmental justice, family planning and the arts have to do with providing relief for the average American citizen,” remarked Project 21 member Marie Fischer. “And why are the teachers’ unions getting paycheck protection? Stimulus funds should only be spent in the following areas: American citizens and legal immigrants who have lost their jobs due to COVID, small businesses forced to shut down due to government directives, children who became orphans due to COVID, first responders and medical facilities. Those are the areas that should receive money in the name of COVID relief.”
“Liberals are doing what they do best: pandering to their constituencies,” said Project 21 member Rich Holt. “Does it make sense to give schools, that haven’t spent all the money they’ve already been given, loads of more cash? No, but it makes sense to pay off the teachers’ unions. Does it make sense to give millions to the National Endowment for the Arts to support making pictures of historical figures with poop? No, but it makes sense for partisans to pay leftist sympathizers who spread their narratives. Does it make sense to give illegal immigrants stimulus payments? No, but it does help lock in their support for liberal politicians.”
To schedule an interview with a member of Project 21 on this or other issues, contact Judy Kent at (703) 759-0269.
Project 21, a leading voice of black conservatives for over 25 years, is sponsored by the National Center for Public Policy Research. Its members have been quoted, interviewed or published over 40,000 times since the program was created in 1992. Contributions to the National Center are tax-deductible and greatly appreciated, and may be earmarked exclusively for the use of Project 21.
Founded in 1982, the National Center for Public Policy Research is a non-partisan, free-market, independent conservative think-tank. Ninety-four percent of its support comes from some 60,000 individuals, less than four percent from foundations and less than two percent from corporations. Sign up for email updates here.
Follow Project 21 on Twitter at @Project21News for general announcements. To be alerted to upcoming media appearances by Project 21 members, follow our media appearances Twitter account at @NCPPRMedia.
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Author: The National Center