House

Pelosi slams McCarthy for promoting COVID-19 relief provision

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Monday seized upon a social media post from House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) promoting a restaurant aid program created by the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package which Republicans unanimously opposed before President Biden signed it into law in March.

“Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy called the American Rescue Plan ‘socialist,’ claimed it would turn the U.S. into Venezuela, and convinced every member of his caucus to vote against it. He even warned the American people ‘help is not on the way.’ Now he’s touting the American Rescue Plan’s Restaurant Revitalization Fund to brag about bringing home the bacon,” Pelosi’s office said in a statement.

In a Facebook post on Friday, McCarthy provided a link to the Small Business Administration’s website where restaurants can apply for funding equal to their pandemic-related monetary losses.

“Applications for the SBA’s Restaurant Revitalization Fund open this Monday, May 3rd,” McCarthy wrote in the post.

Restaurants are eligible for up to $10 million per business, or no more than $5 million per location. Funding recipients don’t have to pay back the amount as long as the money is used toward payroll, mortgage payments, maintenance, construction of outdoor seating, and other eligible expenses by March 11, 2023.

Many other Republicans have been promoting the restaurant assistance fund, despite voting against the overall pandemic relief package that created the program. They’ve defended touting the restaurant program by arguing it doesn’t mean they support everything else in the sweeping pandemic relief law.

“One good provision in a $1.9. trillion bill doesn’t mean I have to vote for the whole thing,” Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), who introduced legislation in February with Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) to establish a restaurant relief program, said in March following passage of the COVID-19 relief package.

Pelosi predicted upon passage of the relief package that Republicans unanimously opposing the legislation would eventually try to take credit for the aid to their communities.

Since then, Pelosi has taken to regularly saying that Republicans “vote no and take the dough.”

Tags COVID-19 Joe Biden Kevin McCarthy Kyrsten Sinema Nancy Pelosi Relief restaurant aid Roger Wicker

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