The COVID-19 stimulus bill passed over the weekend with a 219 -212 vote. When introduced, Republicans like Brian Mast (R) worried that the bill diverted money to areas that would be wasteful as the country continues to navigate through the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. However, with Florida Democrats voting in favor of the bill, they are championing its Congressional passing while Republicans question the long-term effects.
In reference to his vote, Florida Rep. Darren Soto (D) praised the bill, called the American Rescue Plan, commenting that it “puts us on a clear path towards recovery and brings us one step closer to ending this crisis.” Soto also praised President Joe Biden (D), saying that his “bold, strategic relief package delivers the long-overdue resources needed to meet the needs of Central Florida’s families.” Ultimately, Soto admitted that the bill is a reminder of “the hope for a post-pandemic future.”
Initially, the bill received criticism for containing what Republicans argued is “pork-barrel waste,” but Democrats like Florida Rep. Ted Deutch (D) have disregarded the concerns expressing that the bill will “increase testing, tracing & vax programs,” it will “support small biz & local government responders,” it will “expand unemployment,” it will “send $1400 relief checks,” it will “help schools open safely,” it will fight hunger & evictions” along with other concerns.
The House passed the #AmericaRescuePlan to:
⁰- increase testing, tracing & vax programs
⁰- support small biz & local government responders
⁰- expand unemployment
⁰- send $1400 relief checks
– help schools open safely
– fight hunger & evictions
& more pic.twitter.com/8LzzSkAOlV
— Rep. Ted Deutch (@RepTedDeutch) February 27, 2021
The passing of the bill also comes at a time when the Biden administration has received scrutiny over Americans not receiving the promised $2,000 stimulus checks, over its decision to further President Trump’s immigration policy, over its miscommunication over the reopening of schools and over calls that it has not done enough to support raising the minimum wage to $15.
Still, the administration and Florida Democrats are championing the American Rescue Plan, citing it as much-needed progress in a time when Americans need it the most.