Virginia Republicans Criticize CASH Act for Not Including Spending Cuts

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Three of Virginia’s Republican congressmen voted against the Caring for Americans with Supplemental Health (CASH) Act on Monday night, noting that while the bill would increase a taxpayer stimulus from $600 to $2,000, it failed to include the necessary budget cuts. Despite that, the bill did pass the House, 275 to 134.

Congressman Morgan Griffith (R-VA-09) voted against the CASH Act, and said in a statement, “Today, the Democrats in the House put forward a bill to increase the size of the individual checks, BUT did not put forward any of the President’s cut suggestions OR cuts to spending that they preferred. This is a typical Democrat compromise. We will give you increased spending, but we will not give you the cuts requested.”

Congressman Rob Wittman (R-VA-01) and Ben Cline (R-VA-06) also voted against the CASH Act. The only Virginia Republican voting for the House bill on Monday was outgoing congressman Denver Riggleman (R-VA-05), who was one of just 44 Republicans across the country who voted for the bill, while 21 Republicans abstained. Riggleman said on Twitter,Last night I voted YES on the #CASHAct to increase stimulus aid from $600 to $2,000 per person. While I’m glad that we have finally come to an agreement on financial assistance, I hope that the Senate will vote to pass the $2,000 package.”

Griffith had previously criticized the omnibus funding bill passed by the House that provided $600 stimulus checks. Griffith said in a press release, “Omnibuses tend to be bloated, filled with unrelated provisions, and cobbled together in backrooms with little time for Members of Congress to read them, much less understand their provisions. They are a terrible way to exercise Congress’ power of the purse.”

“This bill contains $85.5 million for assistance to Cambodia, $134 million to Burma, $1.3 billion for Egypt and the Egyptian military, which will go out and buy almost exclusively Russian military equipment,” President Trump said last week. “Despite all this wasteful spending and much more, the $900 billion package provides hard-working taxpayers with only $600 each in relief payments,” he added.

Last week, Wittman issued a unanimous consent request in the House to remove foreign spending, but he lacked the necessary support from House Democratic leadership for the move to proceed. “Our government’s top priority must be our families, communities, and small businesses as we get through this pandemic and restore our country,” Wittman said in a statement.

On Sunday, President Trump signed that bill under bipartisan pressure to prevent a shutdown, but he also called for the bill to be edited to cut some spending while increasing the taxpayer stimulus.

Trump said in a press release that legislators should remove support for Section 230, which protects tech companies from lawsuits based on user content.

“Congress has promised that Section 230, which so unfairly benefits Big Tech at the expense of the American people, will be reviewed and either be terminated or substantially reformed. Likewise, the House and Senate have agreed to focus strongly on the very substantial voter fraud which took place in the November 3 Presidential election.”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) introduced an alternative bill in the Senate on Tuesday. McConnell’s bill addresses most of Trump’s concerns, but does not include significant spending cuts. If passed, the bill will increase the stimulus checks to $2,000, repeal Section 230, and establish a bipartisan committee to review the 2020 General Election for fraud or foreign interference.

In a statement, Cline expressed regret that he couldn’t support the House CASH Act. “Virginians across the Commonwealth are hurting, and that is why I fully supported President Trump’s call to raise the dollar amount of Emergency Relief Checks from $600 to $2,000 by offsetting it with cuts to wasteful spending included in the bill.”

Cline added, “Sadly, Democrats voted down our attempt to make these changes last week. Therefore, because the bill only included half of President Trump’s proposal, I could not support the bill as written.”

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Eric Burk is a reporter at The Virginia Star and the Star News Digital Network.  Email tips to [email protected]

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