Alarming items stuffed inside House Democrats’ $1.9T stimulus bill: Health surveillance, animal COVID studies

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House Democrats unveiled Friday the $1.9 trillion economic stimulus package they hope to pass by late next week. Included in the bill are $1,400 stimulus checks and numerous other pandemic-related relief measures, like additional funding for state and local governments and more federal unemployment benefits.

The bill — which was “stitched together” by the Democratic-controlled House Budget Committee, according to Reuters — was also filled with dozens of items completely unrelated to direct pandemic relief.

Federal minimum wage increase

The bill would enact a key promise made by President Joe Biden and Democrats, increasing the federal minimum wage to $15 by 2025.

Animal COVID studies

The bill allocates $300 million of taxpayer dollars for the Agriculture Department to “conduct monitoring and surveillance of susceptible animals for incidence of SARS–CoV–2” as guided by the World Organization for Animal Health.

‘Socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers’

Addressing farm loans, the bill states that the Agriculture Department “shall provide a payment in an amount equal to 120% of the outstanding indebtedness of each socially disadvantaged farmer or rancher as of January 1, 2021, to pay off the loan directly or to the socially disadvantaged farmer or rancher.” – READ MORE

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