Louisiana Senator Bill Cassidy says he can not support the COVID-19 relief plan approved by the House because he says it’s packed with a wish list of items that Democrats have stuffed into the bill.

“When you only do it with folks from one side of the aisle, it favors that one side of the aisle and not everybody. I think we’re seeing this now,” said Cassidy.

Cassidy pointed out in the bill that there’s over $100 million allocated for the subway system in San Francisco.  That, along with funds earmarked for the Seaway International Bridge in upstate New York, has also been struck from the bill.

Cassidy said there are things he could support, including direct payments to taxpayers. Instead of $1,400 payments that are currently allocated, Republicans pushed for $1,000 payments.

Cassidy feels this COVID Relief bill could force the country into a state of inflation and do more harm than good.

“This has been pointed out by Democratic economists, left of center economists. And, if inflation hits our country, the savings of the American people just kind of 'poof,' go up like that,” said Cassidy.

Cassidy and other Republicans also oppose the $130 billion allocated to help reopen schools and colleges. Cassidy said the CDC says it’s safe to reopen schools now and the funds wouldn’t arrive in time anyway.

“Even though the Congressional Budget Office says it won’t be spent this year, there’s not enough time to get the money out the door. It will be in future years. We’re spending money that doesn’t need to be spent for a problem that could already be solved,” said Cassidy.

Congressional leaders want to send President Biden the legislation by March 14th, the date emergency jobless benefits that lawmakers approved in December expire.

(Story written by Brooke Thorington/Louisiana Radio Network)

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