In a round of voting conducted in the US House of Representatives on Wednesday, which was supposed to decide the final fate of US President Joe Biden’ COVID-19 relief plan, Democratic Representative Jared Golden, who is responsible for the second district of Maine, voted against the landmark legislation which aims to benefit millions of Americans who have been facing financial struggles due to the pandemic.
In a statement released by him, the Democrat Congressman highlighted his reservations with the stimulus package after it went through the scrutinization of America’s legislative upper house, the US Senate.
Golden focused on the removal of the minimum wage clause he deeply supported, which would establish a lower limit of the wages given to Americans, set at $15 an hour. He said some of the decisions made by the US Senate had “undermined policies” that he supports.
While question the amendments passed in the Senate, he criticised that “they did not go far enough, and other changes — like removing the minimum wage increase or providing a lower unemployment benefit — undermined policies that I support. I voted for a $15 minimum wage in the last Congress, and given the opportunity, I intend to do so again.”
The 38-year-old, however, said he supported the provision in the bill which distinguished between the less fortunate households in the US on the basis of the financial situation and prioritised those while providing the monetary support through stimulus cheques.
He said, “While the Senate made modest changes to the legislation, some of those changes undermined parts of the bill I do support, and others were insufficient to address my concerns with the overall size and scope of the bill. Although I support the Senate’s effort to reduce the number of wealthier households that will receive stimulus checks.”
The COVID relief bill passed in the US House of Representatives with the voting outcome standing at 220-211. The legislation is now expected to land on Biden’s desk on Friday, where the final approval for implementation will be given.