March 19, 2021 News & Press Releases

ICYMI: Sen. Kaine, Rep. Beyer, Virginia Beach Small Business Owner, and DPVA Chair Discuss American Rescue Plan, Crucial Relief for Virginia, and Unconscionable GOP Opposition

by Democratic Party of Virginia

“I'm grateful that Democrats — including Senator Kaine and Rep. Beyer — got it done and delivered the help we need”

Richmond, VA — Yesterday, the DPVA hosted a conversation about the American Rescue Plan with Sen. Tim Kaine, Rep. Don Beyer, and Laura Wood Habr, a Virginia Beach restaurant owner. Sen. Kaine and Rep. Beyer — who both played an instrumental role in getting this critical relief delivered — discussed their focus on beating COVID-19 and getting Virginians much-needed economic relief. Laura Wood Habr spoke about the challenges facing small businesses like hers and how important the bill’s aid programs will be in the months ahead.

Meanwhile, in a show of their extreme hyperpartisanship, every single Republican in Virginia’s Congressional delegation opposed this vital plan to speed up vaccinations, reopen schools safely, help struggling Virginians pay the bills, and more. All of the GOP candidates for governor have either refused to support it or openly opposed this bill — with Pete Snyder calling it “absolutely insane” and Glenn Youngkin saying “it absolutely is wrong.”

See key excerpts from the discussion below, and watch the full conversation here:

DPVA Chairwoman Susan Swecker: “Republican candidates for governor in Virginia have attacked the American Rescue Plan, with one of them even calling it ‘absolutely insane.’ They’re showing us once again that they are fundamentally unfit to lead Virginia. To get our commonwealth back on track we need a governor who will lead the way and use the resources from this bill to help Virginians.” 

Laura Wood Habr: “It's incredibly frustrating to hear Republicans say that this bill isn't necessary, that it's wasteful spending, or that all we need to do is ‘open up’ the economy. Small business owners like myself are going to rely on this aid to stay afloat, but Republicans would rather oppose it to send a political message...That's why I'm grateful that Democrats — including Senator Kaine and Rep. Beyer — got it done and delivered the help we need.” 

Sen. Tim Kaine: “This was a Democratic bill… In the Senate, every Democrat voted for it, every Republican voted against it...It’s interesting to look at this bill when you realize that the size of this bill, the price tag, is almost exactly the same as the Trump tax cut bill in 2017 that was done only with Republican votes… and you look at who these bills affected, you can really see what the priorities of the two parties are…

If you look at the comparison of who we allocated the benefits to, you’ll see that Democrats allocated these benefits very equitably, while Republicans overwhelmingly loaded the benefits on the top quintile of American earners. I think that really shows who Democrats fight for and who Republicans fight for.”

Rep. Don Beyer: “On the day I passed it, I told my colleagues it was the most consequential vote I had ever taken… I found that almost everyone I said that to agreed — that they had never cast a vote as important. It’s putting vaccines in people’s arms… it puts money in people’s pockets… unemployment benefits… there’s rental assistance, funding for the hungry… the children in poverty in America — half will be lifted out by this bill. You’d have to go back to the New Deal to have something that has made as huge an impact in children’s lives.”