WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA) today joined Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday to discuss the highly partisan COVID-19 package rammed through by Democrats and the crisis at the Southern Border.
On non-COVID provisions in the bill
“Now, if you look at the things in that package, $130 billion for education sounds great. CBO says the amount of money already allocated towards education is so much, it can’t be spent this year. The money that is there for education will be spent in the out years. That’s not related to COVID. If everybody is vaccinated by June, then it’s clearly not related to COVID. There is $350 billion for state and local government. California is getting $41 billion and California has had record tax receipts, record tax receipts. That $41 billion is not related to COVID,” said Dr. Cassidy.
On the Republican relief proposal
“First, let me say Republicans offered an alternative which included that sort of money for the people who needed it. So, yes, economic health was needed for families as well as for businesses. We’re on board with that. You would have had bipartisan support for that,” said Dr. Cassidy.
On Cassidy’s amendment to prohibit stimulus checks to federally and state incarcerated individuals
“But you know what it also includes? It includes $1.9 billion to give stimulus checks to inmates. Now, inmates are already paid for by the taxpayer. They can’t stimulate the economy unless they’re purchasing contraband. So here we have $1.9 billion stimulus checks going to inmates. I put up an amendment to strike that and it was – it was unanimously opposed by Democrats. That’s the sort of thing which should not be included,” said Dr. Cassidy.
On the economic impact of the COVID package
“Let me say one more thing. The economy is recovering. It is estimated by CBO that our economy will grow at 4.2 percent this year without this latest package. And that the stimulus, additional stimulus to this package is estimated by some liberal economists it may ignite inflation. There’s a danger here, Chris. The danger to that same middle-income family we’re concerned about, that their savings evaporate because inflation is turned on. That’s not me, that’s people like Larry Summers and Jason Furman,” said Dr. Cassidy.
On the surge at the Southern Border
Fox News Sunday Host Chris Wallace asked how much responsibility President Biden bears for the surge at the border.
“Empirically, it is entirely. You can’t help but notice that the administration changes and there’s a surge. I saw one of his advisors said in Spanish ‘La frontera no está cerrada,’ which means the border is not closed, and then in English she said, oh, she misspoke, it is. I can tell you, the Spanish version is being heard, not the English, and that’s being reported in national newspapers as well. And so when people think they can get in, they begin sending their unaccompanied child on a train ride across Mexico where she may be kidnapped and traffic on the hope that they’re going to be waived through at the border. This policy is leading to this surge, that is unmistakable,” responded Dr. Cassidy.