Saturday, March 14, 2020

Hern on COVID-19 funding bill: cons outweighed pros on rushed package

Cons outweigh the pros: Hern votes ‘No’ on rushed spending package

WASHINGTON, DC (March 13th) – This evening, Representative Kevin Hern (OK-01) released the following statement after voting against the COVID-19 funding bill.

“After serious consideration, I voted ‘no’ on Speaker Pelosi’s coronavirus legislation,” said Rep. Hern. “Following last week’s near-unanimous vote in support of a clean funding bill to combat coronavirus, the process we went through this week to get to this legislation does not compare.

“I strongly believe that a bill of this magnitude should not be voted on in the middle of the night, in a haste. We are more effective as legislators when we sit down and deliberate, and this issue deserves due consideration. The fact is, the Senate won’t vote on this bill until Monday, which means the President will not sign it into law until Tuesday, at the earliest. There is no reason we can’t read through the proposal, debate the pro’s and con’s, and then vote sometime later this weekend.

Rep. Hern continued, “To be clear, this bill contained provisions that I supported, but there was much left to be desired. For example, I would support a standalone bill that includes funding for coronavirus response efforts, vaccine development, increased testing capabilities, and resources for our local and state health officials. However, I will not vote for any bill, emergency or not, that contains regulations that would hamstring businesses and workers, especially in this climate where they recover from the economic burden of this virus.

 “Last week, I voted with 414 of my fellow members on a bill that had no poison pill, no backdoor legislation, and no gimmicks. It was good policy written to ensure the safety of all Americans. At the time, I was optimistic Democrats would embrace this same bipartisan tone on future coronavirus legislation. I am truly disappointed by tonight’s policy options. Before tonight’s vote, I wrote a letter to Speaker Pelosi urging her to keep the House in session until we can come to the table with legislation written in the best interests of the American people. To those asking, yes that means I think we need to work through the weekend and into next week if needed. When the President declares a state of emergency for our nation, we do not abandon our posts and go home. We remain at the helm of our government, doing everything we can to protect the American people.”


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