13th District Congressman, Rodney Davis, voted in favor of the recent COVID-19 omnibus and federal government appropriations bill. Davis says that the bill included numerous provisions that had been talked about since early this year. He lays the blame on House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, for not calling the federal appropriations budget to a vote back in September: “She did not pass our annual funding package which is our appropriations process when our fiscal year ended for the federal government on September 30th. This short term spending resolution ended on September 11th. She wanted to wait until after the election, and she also wanted to wait on doing another COVID relief bill until after the election and just told us a few weeks ago the only reason she did that is because she wanted to deny President Trump the success of negotiating that deal before the elections. So it’s all politics. It’s all Pelosi that put us to this point.”
Davis says that the foriegn aid included in the bill was actually higher due to requests by the Trump Administration. Davis says that the massive spending bill had a provision in it that he was advocating for that concerned student loans: “I passed a provision in the CARES Act that allows employers to help incentives to pay down their employees student debt. I think that’s a very common sense voluntary private sector approach to addressing the student debt crisis we have in this country. What it does is it treats student debt the same way the tax code treats tuition reimbursement.”
Davis says the whole process with the aid package has been terribly frustrating: “The President’s Treasury Secretary negotiated this package and an overwhelming number of Republicans and Democrats, because of President Trump’s involvement, voted for this package just earlier this week, so it’s frustrated now to come back and see that the President may want to veto it after his team negotiated it. Some of the levels like with 4A, we reduced what the President asked for in his budget. I think the President is frustrated. I was with him a week and a half ago. He clearly seemed depressed and frustrated about the outcome of the election, but if there is going to be a Litmus test on who votes to increase it to $2,000, well the majority of people who wouldn’t even support $600 are the ones giving the President advice on some of the other issues. They won’t vote for the $2,000 per person, so if there’s going to be a Litmus test, I certainly don’t believe the President is going to hold some of his closest allies accountable who didn’t even vote for this package even though his team negotiated it.”
President Trump eventually signed the bill as it was on Sunday, after he had called the bill unsuitable and had asked for the individual payments be raised to $2,000. After days of pressure, Trump signed the bill into law despite his criticisms. With his signature, the government avoided a likely shutdown set to take place tomorrow.
Davis and other House members are set to return to Capitol Hill today to vote on President Trump’s recent veto of the American Defense Authorization Act.