Only 9% of President Joe Biden's COVID relief bill actually goes toward recovery from the pandemic and instead finances the pet projects of Democrats, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy says.
"$1.7 trillion is for everything else," the California Republican said on CNBC's "Squawk Box" Wednesday. "We've done five covid bills bipartisan. This one is the first one that the Democrats just want to do by themselves, to get the votes."
For example, McCarthy said, Democrats put a "special project" in the bill for Pelosi that allows $100 million for the Silicon Valley underground rail project and more money for a New York Bridge project Schumer champions.
And then there is $60 billion in the bill for schools, but "95% of it won't be spent this year when schools open," said McCarthy.
"A lot in this bill is a waste, a wish list from the progressives," he said. "That's why they're going to have difficulty making sure all Democrats vote for it. It's very similar to when Barack Obama came in and they passed that stimulus bill by themselves. Remember what happened at the end of the day? More people thought Elvis was alive than the stimulus created a job."
The current COVID bill will also put millions out at a time when "it's not smart or surgical to do it," he said.
What is essential, he added, is getting back to work, restoring Americans' health, and spending more money on COVID.
"What they're doing, they're reversing the order of how they provide resources to the states," said McCarthy. "Those that actually shut down get more money, California just came out with a $10 billion surplus, and they're going to get the biggest chunk of the money but states with low unemployment that stayed open are actually going to be in a negative ability to receive resources."
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