Watchdog Urges Lawmakers to Keep Bailout Bill Clean

Watchdog Urges Lawmakers to Keep Bailout Bill Clean

For Immediate Release
March 19, 2020
Contact: Grace Morgan

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) urged members of Congress against including any unrelated projects or policy items, such as government price controls to “fix” surprise medical billing and electric vehicle (EV) subsidies, in forthcoming legislation slated to address the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Congress is poised to consider legislation that would allow federal payments to individuals and families struggling to respond to the pandemic and extend relief to beleaguered businesses. According to multiple reports, Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. (D-N.J.) are trying to sneak price controls into the forthcoming legislation, and, Morning Consult senior reporter Lisa Martine Jenkins reports that, “House Democrats are looking to insert renewable energy tax credit provisions into a larger stimulus package aimed at stabilizing the economy.”

TPA President David Williams responded to these developments, noting, “at this extraordinarily difficult time, lawmakers should be focused on supporting the healthcare community and providing relief to businesses that are struggling to respond to the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic. As we come together as a nation to fight this unprecedented challenge, now is not the time to sneak pet projects and personal interests into the response legislation. Instituting price controls and singling out ‘renewable’ technologies such as EVs for support are steps in the wrong direction and would take resources away from the families, businesses, and healthcare providers that need help the most. It is discouraging that, at a time of considerable national suffering and difficulty, some lawmakers have a single-minded focus on putting their own interests ahead of the interests of the American people. We need broad-based relief, not crony handouts and price-fixing policies that benefit the elite few at the expense of the many.”

Williams continued: “It’s especially important in this fast-paced legislative environment that taxpayers and watchdog groups be on the lookout for brazen giveaways and federal favoritism. Doctors are on the front lines risking their lives fighting this virus, and it is irresponsible for Congress to rip money away from them and institute price controls. EV tax credits overwhelmingly benefit well-connected businesses and well-off households that do not need federal assistance. According to research by Dr. Wayne Winegarden of the Pacific Research Institute, about 80 percent of EV payouts accrue to households making six figures. At a time when millions of Americans have just become unemployed, lawmakers must reject Robin Hood-in-reverse policies that take from the suffering and give to the rich, whether they benefit wealthy EV buyers or well-connected insurers.”

Williams concluded: “As members of Congress prepare for the third round of coronavirus relief, they must work together to provide support to the families and businesses that are in limbo right now. Hopefully, it is not too much to ask that Washington, D.C. politicians suspend their usual habits of inserting unrelated pet projects into large pieces of legislation. It’s time to help the American people and abandon partisan games and wasteful policies. Millions of lives and livelihoods depend on it.”