April 17, 2021

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American Rescue Plan Sends Billions In Pandemic Aid To West Virginia. Most Of Our Congressional Delegation Voted Against The Help.

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West Virginia is about to receive another major infusion of coronavirus aid funds, including corporate loans, stimulus checks for most residents, and money to state and local governments for pandemic-related spending and investments in water, sewer and broadband infrastructure.

But four out of five West Virginia members in the US Congress did not vote in favor.

President Joe Biden signed the American rescue plan on March 11th. West Virginia Senator Shelley Moore Capito and MPs David McKinley, Carol Miller and Alex Mooney, along with all other members of the GOP, voted against the $ 1.9 trillion stimulus package.

Senator Joe Manchin, West Virginia’s only Democrat in Congress, has endorsed and touted the package at media events with local executives and in a newspaper commentary Discussion of the financing rollout.

Manchin has a lot to advertise. The state will receive at least $ 4 billion in direct aid, with more to come, the senator says.

“The end is at hand and this COVID-19 relief package is what West Virginia needs to put this pandemic behind us once and for all,” said Manchin said.

The state government will get Another $ 1.25 billion in money, and state and local governments will, according to a Financing overview Provided by Manchin’s office. The first half of the money will be distributed in 60 days. The second half is planned for about a year later.

Most Americans are eligible to receive another round of stimulus checks valued at $ 1,400. Payments will be made to more than 890,000 households in West Virginia, and that money has already surfaced in bank accounts.

Part of the plan expanded a child tax credit of up to $ 3,600 per child. According to the summary, around 346,000 West Virginian children are affected.

Around $ 800 million will go to K-12 schools in West Virginia. The package also provides direct assistance to many businesses and extends unemployment benefits to $ 300 per week through early September. More money will be also be assigned to the Paycheck Protection Program for providing loans to businesses.

The Republican Senator from West Virginia accused the legislation of being too big and too partisan

“President Biden and the Democrats had the perfect opportunity to demonstrate to the country that we can unite to provide targeted aid to the Americans who need it most.” I said it. “Rather than banding together, the Democrats took advantage of a pandemic and poisoned that auxiliary bill with $ 1 trillion in unrelated spending that has been on their wish-list for years.”

Capito said the plan could prevent our economy from recovering. she said Now that it is required by law, the main concern should be transparency and accountability regarding the use of the money.

Miller raised similar concerns about the bill, claiming it would not “crush” COVID-19 or create jobs.

“I raise bison” Miller said End of February. “I know cops when I see them and I know crap when I see them. Less than 10% of this so-called stimulus package is actually focused on the pandemic. “

That depends on what you mean by “pandemic focus”. The bipartisan Committee for a Good Budget found that about 85% of the aid was related to the pandemic. PolitiFact notes that around 9% of funding goes to direct disease containment such as vaccines, testing and tracking, but much more goes to fighting pandemics.

Miller also complained that the bill is “stifling America’s gig economy at a time when it needs our support most”.

The refers to a provision in the American Rescue Plan that lowers the threshold for companies like Uber and Airbnb to report workers who have made money with them. Proponents of determination say it just means Gig workers pay taxes that they should have been paying all along.

In one Press release After McKinley failed to vote on the aid package, he referred to parts of the package that he considered irrelevant, such as the $ 300 weekly unemployment benefit, K-12 funding, and “$ 350 billion for democratically ruled states.” That $ 350 billion is for state and local government funding, however, and Republican-run West Virginia and every other state will receive portions of it. The Republicans have spoken out against K-12 education aid because many schools are still closed and so far only part of the previously allocated money has been used for schools.

McKinley also questioned the idea that “illegal immigrants and prisoners could receive stimulus checks”. People who are imprisoned were allowed to get the previous stimulus tests. As for illegal immigrants, CNN listed that “a minority” of those in the country illegally have a social security number as people keep that number even after their work visa expires. Biden’s plan does not distinguish between the Social Security numbers of those in the country who are legal or illegal when checks are distributed, nor in previous Trump aid laws.

Mooney cited the US deficit as one of the reasons he opposed the bill, a common topic of conversation among Republicans.

“This is a debt your children must pay,” he said.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki recently replied addressing such concerns by pointing out the need for money.

“We are in the midst of a double crisis, from the pandemic to an economic downturn affecting tens of millions of people in this country,” she said. “The president is focused on managing these crises.”

Congressmen aren’t the only Republicans in West Virginia with concerns about the legislation.

While Jim Justice, the Republican governor of West Virginia, express support For the American rescue plan, he expressed his anger at a provision in the legislation months before it was passed that restricts using the new stimulus funds to directly or indirectly offset tax cuts, although he denied he ever planned to do so.

Ohio Attorney General sued The Biden administration on Wednesday expressed concern about the provision that it would prevent states from making tax cuts, claiming such restrictions were unconstitutional. West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey also has similar exception taken to it.

Reach reporter Douglas Soule at [email protected]