ON THE RECORD: Rep. Rodney Davis calls American Rescue Plan “partisan,” opposes new federal election laws

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ILLINOIS (WMBD) — From the American Rescue Plan being touted by the Democrats and the Biden Administration, to federal election laws, there’s a lot going on in Congress right now.

Rep. Rodney Davis (R) IL-18 joined Matt Sheehan live for On the Record Monday morning to discuss his opposition to the COVID-19 relief package, the election laws being discussed in Congress right now, and Davis’ meeting he had with President Biden about infrastructure in America.

Rep. Davis called the American Rescue Plan a “partisan bill,” one where the funds won’t be spent for years. He added the bill wasn’t targeted towards COVID-19 either.

“There are plenty of pieces of legislation that I’ve voted for that are bipartisan,” Davis said. “At the beginning of the pandemic we came together in a very bipartisan way to pass historic COVID relief to give our mom and pop shops the lifeline they needed to survive. We did that four other times in a very bipartisan way. The Democrats took over the House, Senate, and the White House. Their first bill out of the shoot was one that used the reconciliation process that spent $2 trillion more when the last bipartisan package had over $1 trillion still left to be spent.”

Rep. Davis said there are things that need to happen right now to reopen schools.

House Democrats celebrated the $122 billion to help K-12 schools reopen, but Rep. Davis said these funds aren’t going to even be spent for another two years.

“The Biden Administration had $60 billion sitting in Washington as part of our bipartisan agreement, they’ve done nothing to spend that money. Most of the education dollars in the new bill aren’t going to be spent until 2023. That’s not COVID relief, that’s just growing government,” Davis said.

Rep. Davis also discussed his opposition to H.R. 1, also known as the “For the People Act of 2021.” He said the bill federalizes the electoral system and makes it more vulnerable to voter fraud.

Rodney is a ranking member of the Committee on House Administration.

“It nationalizes our election system by nationalizing a process that’s already been ripe with fraud. It’s called “ballot harvesting” where a stranger knocks on your door if you’ve asked for a vote-by-mail ballot. They assure you that he or she is going to take that ballot down to the courthouse for you,” Davis said. “I don’t think this is a way to make politics better. What was in that bill that I believe is the #1 reason why almost every Democrat voted for it, is because it created a program that would allow $7.2 in public money to go directly into their own campaigns. That’s something that doesn’t get talked about enough. $7.2 million more into a member of Congress congressional campaign? I would never vote for a bill that would give me $1 in public money, let alone $7.2 million.”

Recently Rep. Davis met with President Biden to talk about infrastructure. He recently released his own legislation called the “One Federal Decision Act.” Below you will see what Davis says the bill would do for infrastructure.

With the One Federal Decision Act, we can move projects along quicker, save taxpayer dollars, create good paying jobs, and protect the environment all at the same time. We should all want a more streamlined, efficient government,” Davis said in a previous statement sent to WMBD.

  • Sets a government-wide goal of limiting the time required for environmental reviews and authorizations for major infrastructure projects to two years, beginning with publication of a notice of intent to prepare an EIS through the issuance of a record of decision (ROD) under NEPA.
  • Requires federal agencies to develop a single permitting timetable for environmental review and authorization decisions.
  • Requires all federal authorizations and project reviews to rely on a single environmental document.
  • Requires agencies to make all decisions on authorizations – including permits – for a major project within 90 days of the issuance of a ROD.
  • Establishes a process for Federal agencies to adopt applicable categorical exclusions to the NEPA process established by the Federal Highway Administration in order to accelerate project delivery. 

“Matt, I was pretty proud to be a part of a very small group to go to the Oval Office to talk to President Biden about infrastructure. Vice President Harris was there, Secretary Buttigieg was there. We just laid out our priorities and policies when it came to rebuilding our roads and bridges that are crumbling right now,” Davis said. “I talked about my One Federal Decision Act to lessen the time it takes for environmental reviews, thus getting to the construction stage a lot more quickly.”

Rep. Davis said it was a “good discussion, but it was a 30-thousand foot level discussion.”

“I’m disappointed to hear today that President Biden is looking to propose tax increases to pay for an infrastructure program, when we can talk about things that are going to be bipartisan agreements,” Davis said.

Rodney said Congress needs to be bipartisan right now, and that’s something he doesn’t see currently.

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