WASHINGTON — Monday night Congress voted to pass a $900 billion federal relief bill. That voting included two yea votes from Utah congressmen, while the others voted no.
Utah Senator Mike Lee said the bill was too long and came too late for him to be able to read all the way through. He posted a video on his social media accounts saying it took three hours just to print out the roughly 5,600-page bill.
“It is absolutely certain this has been cobbled together by a small handful of members of Congress and their staffs,” Lee said in the video. “Being asked to vote on something, that we haven’t even had the opportunity to even see, much less digest and amend, is unacceptable.”
4/4 This process has not overcome Washington dysfunction; it is Washington dysfunction. Even during a pandemic this is not how governing should be done, it is unfair to the American people, and that is why I voted no.
— Mike Lee (@SenMikeLee) December 22, 2020
Utah Reps John Curtis and Chris Stewart also voted no.
Curtis said Tuesday morning that the bill was the “Height of Congressional Dysfunction.”
“I could not vote for a bill that spends over $2 trillion taxpayer dollars without fully understanding how it could impact Utah and Utahns. Congress completely failed to put this bill together in a responsible manner,” he said in a statement.
Stewart said the bill had no mechanisms to address the nation’s spending problems.
“$27 trillion in debt should scare us all,” he wrote on Twitter.
Tonight I voted NO for additional COVID relief. $27 trillion in debt should scare us all. I simply cannot support a bill that was crafted without offsets and mechanisms to address our nation’s spending problem.
— Rep. Chris Stewart (@RepChrisStewart) December 22, 2020
Outgoing Rep Ben McAdams and Sen Mitt Romney were the only two of Utah’s delegation voted yes on the relief package.
McAdams said it wasn’t perfect, but families and business owners need relief now.
“Combining needed relief with a huge omnibus spending bill is not ideal, but since it is the last train leaving the station, it’s the only opportunity before Congress adjourns to get bipartisan emergency relief to thousands of Utah families struggling to pay the bills,” he said in a statement.
Tonight I voted in support of the COVID-19 relief bill. The bill isn’t perfect, but hardworking Utah families and small business owners need relief now as we continue to cope with the effects of the pandemic. #utpol
Read my complete statement ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/yL3LhWnGhB
— Rep. Ben McAdams (@RepBenMcAdams) December 22, 2020
Romney said he was part of the bi-partisan team that put the package together.
Retiring Representative Rob Bishop was absent from the vote. He recently suffered a mild stroke but has been recovering.
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