Rep. Tate proposes using all $5 billion in federal stimulus
DETROIT, Mich., Feb. 4, 2021 — Rep. Joe Tate (D-Detroit), Democratic Vice-Chair of the House Appropriations Committee, led Michigan House Democrats today in opposing 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 package that leaves Michigan taxpayer dollars back in Washington, D.C.
“This budget provides only a fraction of the relief funding that it could, which is only a fraction of the support that the people of Michigan deserve,” said Tate, who proposed an amendment to use all $5 billion in federal funding available to Michigan. “These are real dollars we’re leaving on the table, which will have real consequences.”
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
“Every day we hold onto these funds is a day that people go without,” said Tate. “It’s another day someone is unable to pay their rent, another day someone maxes out another credit card to pay their electric bill, another day someone’s grandmother goes without a potentially life-saving vaccine, and another day someone’s child goes hungry. We’ve had to make some tough choices during this pandemic, and we will continue to do so, but this should have been an easy one.”