Rep. Andy Biggs of Arizona to vote no on $2.2 trillion coronavirus relief bill
PHOENIX — U.S. Rep. Andy Biggs of Arizona said Friday morning he plans to vote against the $2.2 trillion coronavirus relief bill passed by the Senate this week.
“This is not perfect for sure, everybody admits that, but it’s not even good,” the East Valley Republican told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Arizona’s Morning News. “And they wouldn’t even let some of the most egregious parts be fixed.”
However, he said he expected the bill to pass the House and be sent to the president’s desk. The Democratic-controlled House did just that later Friday by a voice vote, meaning individual votes weren’t recorded.
The bill passed the Republican-controlled Senate unanimously Thursday.
Biggs said he opposed the bill because of provisions that will allow some workers to be paid more in unemployment insurance than in their current jobs.
He also was against funding for things he said are not directly related to combating the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak.
He cited $25 million earmarked for the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., among other things.
Earlier this week, President Donald Trump said he was in favor of the Kennedy Center funding.
“The reality is, the money needs to be going to main street and the families that make their living on main street,” Biggs said.
Democratic U.S. Rep. Ruben Gallego told Arizona’s Morning News on Thursday that while he opposed parts of the bill, it was more important to pass it quickly and get relief out than to try to change it.
Republican Rep. David Schweikert of Arizona also said he would vote yes but “do it with some clenched teeth.”
“Let’s face it, the Democrats put some things in this bill that just don’t belong there,” he told KTAR News. “But this is our one opportunity to get this out of here and get it out of here quickly to help the Arizona workers and families.”
Biggs also voted against a previous bill earlier this month to assist employees impacted by the outbreak that eventually was signed into law.
In a interview published by the Family Research Council, a conservative Christian group, Biggs said he opposed that bill in part because it included language that about domestic partners being family members.
KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Jeremy Foster contributed to this report.
For all articles, information and updates on the coronavirus from KTAR News, visit ktar.com/coronavirus.