LANSING, Mich., Feb. 4, 2021 — Today, state Rep. Julie M. Rogers (D-Kalamazoo) and House Democrats opposed House Republican legislation that would leave COVID-19 vaccine funding and other money in Washington, D.C.
Earlier this week, House Democrats announced a pandemic recovery plan that would immediately unleash 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 falls far short of providing the relief that Democrats believe Michigan communities need.
“Enough is enough. The health of Michiganders needs to be made a top priority by the Republican leadership,” Rep. Rogers said. “The ongoing partisan politics will risk federal dollars being lost to other states. These are Michigan tax dollars that belong in our communities, our health care centers and our schools. In fact, I’ve heard directly from Kalamazoo Public School Board President Patti Sholler-Barber who emphasized that we need every dollar available in order to adequately support the needs of our students and educators.”
House Democrats proposed 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
“As a health care provider, I know firsthand how important it is to get shots in arms,” Rogers said. “If we want to end the pandemic once and for all, Democrats and Republicans need to come together for real solutions.”