Murphy Offers Two Amendments in Education and Labor Committee Markup of Budget Reconciliation Bill

February 9, 2021
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – During the Education and Labor full committee markup of budget reconciliation legislation, Ranking Member of the Higher Education and Workforce Investment Subcommittee Congressman Greg Murphy, M.D. (NC-03) introduced two amendments, both of which were blocked by Democrats. The first amendment Murphy offered would prohibit school districts from receiving money under the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER) if they do not offer in-person instruction for vulnerable children. Murphy made the following statement regarding his amendment:

“Just as many of us suspected, virtual learning has caused students to significantly fall behind in school,” said Murphy. “In-person learning has been proven a much more effective environment for children. This phenomenon is disproportionately hurting minority and disadvantaged kids according to a recent study conducted by McKinsey and Company. My commonsense amendment would simply require public schools to offer in-person instruction for the children who have fallen behind the most if these schools want to receive federal funding.

“Of course, schools must take the proper precautions to safely reopen. The CDC believes we can safely reopen schools right now if students and teachers wear masks and practice social distancing. In addition, Congress authorized $54 billion for schools in December for the purposes of reopening. We can and should do this for our most vulnerable children at the very least.”

Murphy’s second amendment would strike the $15 minimum wage provision of the bill. Murphy provided the following comment about his amendment:

“First of all, budget reconciliation is a process reserved for spending and revenue programs,” said Murphy. “The radical proposal to more than double the national minimum wage has absolutely nothing to do with spending and revenue. This provision has no business being in this bill to begin with.

“Second, Democrats are living up to their mantra of ‘never let a good crisis go to waste.’ Their constant efforts to push a radical socialist agenda under the pretext of coronavirus relief are inappropriate and dangerous. Just yesterday, the non-partisan CBO released a report predicting 1.4 million jobs would be lost as a result of such a steep minimum wage hike. Our country is already experiencing extremely high unemployment due to the pandemic. Deliberately pulling the rug out from under more than a million Americans is the last thing we need to do for our ailing economy.”