GOP senator calls Biden's $1.9T relief package 'a colossal waste and economically harmful'

Sen. Pat ToomeyPatrick (Pat) Joseph ToomeyBlack women look to build upon gains in coming elections Watch live: GOP senators present new infrastructure proposal Sasse rebuked by Nebraska Republican Party over impeachment vote MORE (Pa.), a top Republican on the Senate Banking Committee, blasted the $1.9 trillion relief package unveiled by President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenHaiti prime minister warns inequality will cause migration to continue Pelosi: House must pass 3 major pieces of spending legislation this week Erdoğan says Turkey plans to buy another Russian defense system MORE on Thursday as “a colossal waste and economically harmful.”

“In less than one year, Congress has spent $3.4 trillion on direct COVID relief aid and nearly doubled the entire federal budget,” Toomey said in a statement Friday, citing recent economic gains that followed a near free fall at the beginning of the pandemic.

“In particular, sending another $1,400 to children, the deceased, and tens of millions of workers who haven’t missed a paycheck, like federal and state employees, is senseless and will likely slow down a recovery in employment,” Toomey said of a proposal to increase the size of stimulus checks included in a year-end relief package from $600 to $2,000, a top Democratic priority that's backed by some Republicans.


“It was a bad idea two weeks ago and it’s a bad idea now,” Toomey said.

Toomey’s early criticism of the Biden plan, which the incoming administration made public on Thursday evening, indicates the legislation may face significant GOP opposition in the Senate.

Americans for Tax Reform, an advocacy group that supports smaller government and lower taxes, is calling on Congress to reject Biden's proposal.

“This proposal contains numerous wasteful spending provisions that would do little to fight the pandemic and could prolong the economic downturn,” the group said in a statement. 

Biden’s “American Rescue Plan” includes $400 billion to combat the pandemic, an expansion of the stimulus checks and $350 billion for state and local governments. It would also provide $440 billion in aid to communities and businesses.