Important COVID-19 update to SpendingTracker.org
In the last two months, multiple spending bills have been signed into law with the intention of alleviating the threat of the coronavirus pandemic and providing relief to individuals and businesses.
This collective package has been substantially larger than most legislation passed by Congress during the current session.
Specifically, these bills are:
|Date of Enactment||Bill||Title||Cost|
|3/6/2020||H.R. 6074||Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2020||$8.1 Billion|
|3/18/2020||H.R. 6201||Families First Coronavirus Response Act||$97.7 Billion|
|3/27/2020||H.R. 748||CARES Act||$1.3 Trillion|
|4/24/2020||H.R. 266||Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act||$482.9 Billion|
Two of these bills were enacted by voice/unanimous consent, H.R. 748 in the House and H.R. 266 in the Senate, and in the case of the CARES Act, some members registered their opposition in the congressional record.
Five Republicans—Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.), Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colo.), Rep. Jody Hice (R-Ga.), Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.), and Rep. Ted Yoho (R-Fla.)—as well as one Independent—Rep. Justin Amash (I-Mich.)—entered official statements into the congressional record that they opposed the CARES Act. In addition, Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) attempted a legislative maneuver asking for a roll call vote that failed.
SpendingTracker.org totals estimates based solely on recorded votes; as a result, all representatives will have the spending from the CARES Act incorporated into their score on the site, regardless of whether they entered a statement. The same is also true for senators regarding H.R. 266. This keeps consistency with all other voice votes taken in the spending database.
However, in order to better distinguish between spending votes on coronavirus legislation and that on all other priorities, SpendingTracker.org has been updated with a new spending type that allows coronavirus relief to be included in or excluded from estimates.
These toggles may be found on both the site Rankings page as well as any individual representative’s or senator’s page. As always, votes on legislation passed without a roll call vote, whether coronavirus-related or otherwise, may also be excluded on any representative’s or senator’s page.
While this new toggle can help users get an idea of how their members of Congress are voting, the goal should always be transparency on measures of this magnitude. The lack of a recorded vote on the CARES Act is troubling, but of course understandable in the context of the pandemic, and only underscores the importance for Congress to figure out how to operate fully in the current environment.
|Topics:||Budget & Appropriations|