Rep. Austin Scott: House Passes Biden’s COVID Package Lauded by Democrats as the ‘Most Progressive Bill in History’

March 10, 2021
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Austin Scott (GA-08) released the below statement upon the House passing the partisan American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (H.R. 1319), as amended by the Senate. Included in the package - being billed as COVID-19 relief by House Democrats - are numerous, multi-billion-dollar provisions for projects and programs not associated with the pandemic or COVID-19 recovery.

“Today, the House passed what many Democrats are hailing as ‘the most progressive bill’ in U.S. history. They refused to work with Republicans on this so-called COVID relief package and shot down attempts to reign in unnecessary and unrelated spending. They continue to show they are more concerned with cutting checks for pet projects and implementing reparation-type programs than working to help our country and economy continue to combat and recover from COVID-19,” said Rep. Austin Scott.

“The most progressive bill in U.S. history” contains billions in non-health spending, including:

  • $350 billion to bail out blue states and cities
  • $86 billion for pension bailouts
  • $35 billion for Affordable Care Act bailouts

Additionally, the legislation creates a sweeping farm loan forgiveness program for socially disadvantaged farmers with a price tag yet to be determined. For weeks, Rep. Scott has been vocal on the provision, found under Section 1005 of the legislation, and contends that it sets no clear eligibility standards for farmers to apply to receive a payment up to 120% of an outstanding loan. Under the current plan, farmers with outstanding USDA loans or USDA-guaranteed loans can receive a payment up to $2.1 million, with the only eligibility requirement being a farmer’s race and ethnicity. Rep. Scott believes this leaves USDA open to a legal challenge under reverse discrimination. You can click here to read a recent editorial piece from Rep. Scott on this issue.