Rep. Hertel supports vote on all $5 billion in federal stimulus

LANSING, Mich., Feb. 4, 2021 — Rep. Kevin Hertel (D-St. Clair Shores) is voicing his opposition to House Republican legislation that would leave needed COVID-19 vaccine funding and other money in Washington, D.C.

Earlier this week, House Democrats released a pandemic recovery plan that would immediately release over $5 billion in federal dollars to help Michigan workers, small businesses, families and schools impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. On Thursday, House Republicans pushed through a short-sighted appropriations package that leaves some of Michigan taxpayer dollars back in Washington, D.C.

“The federal government did not give states money to be used in partisan political games. Not immediately distributing these dollars to our schools, county health departments, and small businesses is evidence that the majority is out of touch with the effects of this pandemic on real people. Attempting to tie the governor’s hands as a condition of giving people what they need is unconscionable,” said Hertel. “We know that her leadership has saved thousands of lives, and we proved last session that bipartisan relief packages are possible without these unnecessary strings attached. We all want to get back to normal. The full and correct use of these dollars helps us do that. What passed today does not.”

House Democrats demanded several changes to the bills during session, including:

  • Bringing home all $90 million in federal stimulus for vaccine distribution throughout Michigan
  • Bringing home all $575 million in federal stimulus to expand COVID testing, tracing and lab capacity
  • Bringing home all $2.1 billion in federal stimulus to provide food assistance
  • Bringing home all $661 million in federal stimulus to help with rental assistance and winter utility bills
  • Adding $240 million in direct relief to small businesses
  • Extending unemployment assistance from 20 to 26 weeks