Cost of reconciliation, infrastructure package will be ‘massive’: Rep. David Kustoff
Rep. David Kustoff, R-Tenn., argues the Democrats’ spending package is ‘going to be huge.’
The latest version of the House Democrats’ massive $1.7 trillion reconciliation bill contains a provision guaranteeing four weeks of federal paid medical and family leave, even if you’re unemployed.
The provision in question is buried deep in the Build Back Better Act as Democrats desperately try to get legislation across the finish line after a GOP trouncing at the polls on Tuesday.
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One has to turn to page 1,065 of the House Rules Committee-approved bill to find the measure in question, which was whittled down to four weeks of comprehensive paid family and medical leave from President Biden's initial demand of 12 weeks.
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The provision would create an entitlement to allow for Social Security funds to be drawn upon by individuals who can "self-attest" their eligibility for the funds even without being employed.
A Republican Study Committee (RSC) memo obtained by Fox Business says the "new paid leave entitlement would mandate workers get 4 weeks of paid leave under which workers could ‘self-attest’ their eligibility and do not even need to be currently employed."
Rep. Greg Murphy, R-N.C., told Fox Business that it’s "no secret that the Democrats’ legislative process has been a disaster" in a Thursday email statement.
"Despite a resounding rejection of President Biden’s agenda from voters this week, Washington liberals are doubling down on their massive spending package that includes 150 new cradle-to-grave entitlement programs, $550 billion for the Green New Deal, and $1.5 trillion in new taxes," Murphy said.
"In 10 months, Democrats have quickly built a culture that disincentives work, ruins our economy, eliminates accountability, and creates billions in subsidies with no strings attached. 71% of Americans believe that we are on the wrong track, and at this rate, Joe Biden is driving our country clean off the rails," he continued.
The House Ways and Means Committee Republicans — the committee that oversees taxes in the House — also warned that the paid leave measure would be a "target for fraud," listing it as the No. 3 reason as why not to vote for the bill.
"Democrats allow applicants to ‘self-attest’ on the application that they are eligible, opening the door to massive fraud," the website reads. "Self-certification policies in Democrats’ untargeted, emergency pandemic unemployment programs allowed fraudsters to get away with an estimated 400 billion in taxpayer dollars."
The devil is often in the details when it comes to spending legislation, details that Democrats are keeping close to their chests — which GOP critics say is because they are still busy writing the bill as they attempt to jam it through.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s, D-Calif., office pointed to a spokesperson for the House Ways and Means Committee in lieu of comment.
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The House Ways and Means Democrat spokesperson told Fox Business that the "bill requires that a person have wages within the most recent quarter before their qualifying event to receive the benefit."
"It also bases benefits on the individual’s average wages over the past eight quarters, so people with very little recent work or infrequent work would receive very low benefits," the person continued.
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