Scalise: Dems’ ‘COVID Relief’ Bill Gives California $40 Billion Bailout Despite State’s $10 Billion Surplus

Craig Bannister | February 24, 2021 | 2:00pm EST
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Rep. Steve Scalise
(Getty Images/Mark Wilson)

“California, in this bill, would get over $40 billion in bailout money when they just announced they have a $10 billion surplus,” House Republican Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) explained Wednesday, detailing spending in Democrats’ so-called “COVID relief” bill that has nothing to do with combating coronavirus.

Scalise was providing his answer to President Joe Biden’s challenge to show him the waste in Democrats’ $1.9 trillion bill:

“Just the other day, President Biden challenged Republicans to show him the waste. ‘What would you cut?’ President Biden said. My response to President Biden would be: ‘How much time do you have, Mr. President, to go through the litany of things in this bill that have nothing to do with COVID?’

“Who said a subway to Silicon Valley has anything to do with COVID? Who said a $15 minimum wage that estimates show would kill over $50 billion in economic activity and jobs in America has anything to do with COVID?

“Who says a state bailout of $350 billion to blue states like California - California, in this bill, would get over $40 billion in bailout money when they just announced they have a $10 billion surplus.

“So why, Mr. President, would you want to borrow money from our children and grandchildren to bail out failed states and to keep schools closed for another year when the science says open schools today?”

“How can you call it ‘COVID relief’ when you oppose the measures to actually increase vaccinations against COVID?” Scalise asked, noting that every Democrat voted against a Republican amendment to provide 200 vaccines to Americans in the first 100 days of Biden’s presidency.

The California Department of Finance has reported a budget surplus of ten and a half billion dollars:

“Preliminary General Fund agency cash receipts for the first seven months of the fiscal year were $10.539 billion above the 2021-22 Governor’s Budget forecast of $106.524 billion.”

California isn’t the only state that would get bailout money despite enjoying a surplus, prompting even some Democrats to oppose the spending, The Los Angeles Times reports:

“The House package includes Biden’s proposed $350 billion for cities, states, territories and tribal governments. Most of the money would go to states. This provision may well not survive, at least not the full amount; Republicans are opposed and some Democrats note that a number of states — including California — are projecting budget surpluses.”

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