• Did Freedom Win? No
  • Voted for Freedom 49
  • Voted Against Freedom 50
This bill would spend another $1.9 trillion on top of the over $4 trillion that Congress already allocated for COVID-19 relief in 2020. In addition to the fact that much of the previously appropriated money has not even finished being spent or used, the lion’s share of this money isn’t even addressing the root problems being posed by this pandemic itself, and in fact is making the situation worse. As the President of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, Maya MacGuineas, has noted, “Only about 1 percent of the entire package goes toward COVID vaccines, and 5 percent is truly focused on public health needs surrounding the pandemic.”

As was expected, H.R. 1319 provides for $1,400 direct payments to individuals, dubbed “recovery rebates,” with an additional $1,400 for each dependent, and $2,800 for joint filers. These direct payments come on top of the original $1,000 and $600 payments from 2020. As with previous direct payment schemes, writing more checks to the American public is putting a band-aid on a bullet wound. These provisions do nothing to aid in reopening our economy or help unemployed Americans get back to work and often go to individuals who don’t need it, at the expense of those in our society who are truly hurting from this pandemic and its effects.

Similarly, this package includes another $128.5 billion in new aid for the Department of Education to disperse to the states, with no ties to reopening schools. This, in spite of the fact that there is still well over $50 billion in previous education funds unused from previous COVID relief bills. Much of this money is not even obligated to be spent within the next year or two, and does nothing to solve the basic problem that states and localities need to get kids back physically into classrooms as soon as possible (which the CDC has declared safe to do).

One of the most contentious sections of H.R. 1319 would more than double the federal minimum wage from $7.25 per hour to $15 per hour over the next five years. Doing so would undoubtedly place a heavy burden on small businesses, such as restaurants, that are already in dire straits due to government-mandated lockdowns. Beyond the policy reasons to oppose raising the federal minimum wage, including this provision in the budget reconciliation bill clearly violates the Byrd Rule, which is not just a rule — it is law. If Democrats want to raise the minimum wage, they should at least attempt do so through the proper legislative procedure, rather than attaching it inappropriately as a rider on must-pass budgetary measures.

In addition to the massive amount of federal dollars already spent to bail out state and local governments, H.R. 1319 gives away $219.8 billion to cover the costs of the COVID-19 pandemic and “address the negative economic impacts of such emergency.” Subtitle A of Title V provides $4.5 billion for territories, $20 billion for tribal governments, and $195.3 billion for the states and DC. This section also provides an additional $130.2 billion for local governments. These state and local bailouts are framed as “fiscal recovery funds,” despite the fact that they do nothing to solve the underlying fiscal issues faced by state and local governments, many of which predated COVID-19. Once again, Congress appears more willing to simply throw money we don’t have at an issue rather than addressing its root cause, and in the process, forcing taxpayers from fiscally responsible states to subsidize the fiscal mismanagement of blue states.

H.R. 1319 also provides an additional $10 billion to be used in the centralized planning and production of medical supplies under the Defense Production Act (DPA). Throughout this pandemic, attempts to centrally direct these supplies have repeatedly proven less effective than similar efforts by private actors, as exemplified most recently by the embarrassingly inefficient initial distribution of vaccines by federal and state authorities.

Legislator's Votes

Voted for Freedom

John Barrasso

Senator WY

John Barrasso

  • Voted for Freedom? Yes
Roy Blunt

Senator MO

Roy Blunt

  • Voted for Freedom? Yes
John Boozman

Senator AR

John Boozman

  • Voted for Freedom? Yes
Mike Braun

Senator IN

Mike Braun

  • Voted for Freedom? Yes
Richard Burr

Senator NC

Richard Burr

  • Voted for Freedom? Yes
Shelley Capito

Senator WV

Shelley Capito

  • Voted for Freedom? Yes
Bill Cassidy

Senator LA

Bill Cassidy

  • Voted for Freedom? Yes
Susan Collins

Senator ME

Susan Collins

  • Voted for Freedom? Yes
John Cornyn

Senator TX

John Cornyn

  • Voted for Freedom? Yes
Tom Cotton

Senator AR

Tom Cotton

  • Voted for Freedom? Yes
Kevin Cramer

Senator ND

Kevin Cramer

  • Voted for Freedom? Yes
Mike Crapo

Senator ID

Mike Crapo

  • Voted for Freedom? Yes
Ted Cruz

Senator TX

Ted Cruz

  • Voted for Freedom? Yes
Steve Daines

Senator MT

Steve Daines

  • Voted for Freedom? Yes
Joni Ernst

Senator IA

Joni Ernst

  • Voted for Freedom? Yes
Deb Fischer

Senator NE

Deb Fischer

  • Voted for Freedom? Yes
Lindsey Graham

Senator SC

Lindsey Graham

  • Voted for Freedom? Yes
Bill Hagerty

Senator TN

Bill Hagerty

  • Voted for Freedom? Yes
Josh Hawley

Senator MO

Josh Hawley

  • Voted for Freedom? Yes
John Hoeven

Senator ND

John Hoeven

  • Voted for Freedom? Yes
Jim Inhofe

Senator OK

Jim Inhofe

  • Voted for Freedom? Yes
Ron Johnson

Senator WI

Ron Johnson

  • Voted for Freedom? Yes
John Kennedy

Senator LA

John Kennedy

  • Voted for Freedom? Yes
Mike Lee

Senator UT

Mike Lee

  • Voted for Freedom? Yes
  • Session Score 100%
Cynthia Lummis

Senator WY

Cynthia Lummis

  • Voted for Freedom? Yes
Roger Marshall

Senator KS

Roger Marshall

  • Voted for Freedom? Yes
Jerry Moran

Senator KS

Jerry Moran

  • Voted for Freedom? Yes
Lisa Murkowski

Senator AK

Lisa Murkowski

  • Voted for Freedom? Yes
Rand Paul

Senator KY

Rand Paul

  • Voted for Freedom? Yes
Rob Portman

Senator OH

Rob Portman

  • Voted for Freedom? Yes
  • Session Score 63.6%
Jim Risch

Senator ID

Jim Risch

  • Voted for Freedom? Yes
Mitt Romney

Senator UT

Mitt Romney

  • Voted for Freedom? Yes
Mike Rounds

Senator SD

Mike Rounds

  • Voted for Freedom? Yes
Marco Rubio

Senator FL

Marco Rubio

  • Voted for Freedom? Yes
  • Session Score 100%
Ben Sasse

Senator NE

Ben Sasse

  • Voted for Freedom? Yes
Tim Scott

Senator SC

Tim Scott

  • Voted for Freedom? Yes
Rick Scott

Senator FL

Rick Scott

  • Voted for Freedom? Yes
Richard Shelby

Senator AL

Richard Shelby

  • Voted for Freedom? Yes
John Thune

Senator SD

John Thune

  • Voted for Freedom? Yes
Thom Tillis

Senator NC

Thom Tillis

  • Voted for Freedom? Yes
Pat Toomey

Senator PA

Pat Toomey

  • Voted for Freedom? Yes
Roger Wicker

Senator MS

Roger Wicker

  • Voted for Freedom? Yes
Todd Young

Senator IN

Todd Young

  • Voted for Freedom? Yes

Voted Against Freedom

Tammy Baldwin

Senator WI

Tammy Baldwin

  • Voted for Freedom? No
Cory Booker

Senator NJ

Cory Booker

  • Voted for Freedom? No
Sherrod Brown

Senator OH

Sherrod Brown

  • Voted for Freedom? No
Ben Cardin

Senator MD

Ben Cardin

  • Voted for Freedom? No
Tom Carper

Senator DE

Tom Carper

  • Voted for Freedom? No
Bob Casey

Senator PA

Bob Casey

  • Voted for Freedom? No
Chris Coons

Senator DE

Chris Coons

  • Voted for Freedom? No
Dick Durbin

Senator IL

Dick Durbin

  • Voted for Freedom? No
Maggie Hassan

Senator NH

Maggie Hassan

  • Voted for Freedom? No
Mazie Hirono

Senator HI

Mazie Hirono

  • Voted for Freedom? No
Tim Kaine

Senator VA

Tim Kaine

  • Voted for Freedom? No
Mark Kelly

Senator AZ

Mark Kelly

  • Voted for Freedom? No
Angus King

Senator ME

Angus King

  • Voted for Freedom? No
Amy Klobuchar

Senator MN

Amy Klobuchar

  • Voted for Freedom? No
Patrick Leahy

Senator VT

Patrick Leahy

  • Voted for Freedom? No
Ben Luján

Senator NM

Ben Luján

  • Voted for Freedom? No
Joe Manchin

Senator WV

Joe Manchin

  • Voted for Freedom? No
Ed Markey

Senator MA

Ed Markey

  • Voted for Freedom? No
Bob Menendez

Senator NJ

Bob Menendez

  • Voted for Freedom? No
Jeff Merkley

Senator OR

Jeff Merkley

  • Voted for Freedom? No
Chris Murphy

Senator CT

Chris Murphy

  • Voted for Freedom? No
Patty Murray

Senator WA

Patty Murray

  • Voted for Freedom? No
Jon Ossoff

Senator GA

Jon Ossoff

  • Voted for Freedom? No
Alex Padilla

Senator CA

Alex Padilla

  • Voted for Freedom? No
Gary Peters

Senator MI

Gary Peters

  • Voted for Freedom? No
Jack Reed

Senator RI

Jack Reed

  • Voted for Freedom? No
Jacky Rosen

Senator NV

Jacky Rosen

  • Voted for Freedom? No
Brian Schatz

Senator HI

Brian Schatz

  • Voted for Freedom? No
Chuck Schumer

Senator NY

Chuck Schumer

  • Voted for Freedom? No
Tina Smith

Senator MN

Tina Smith

  • Voted for Freedom? No
Jon Tester

Senator MT

Jon Tester

  • Voted for Freedom? No
Mark Warner

Senator VA

Mark Warner

  • Voted for Freedom? No
Ron Wyden

Senator OR

Ron Wyden

  • Voted for Freedom? No

Abstained