Most of all, I’m saddened that millions of kids have lost a year of learning when they could not afford to lose a single day. Locking vulnerable kids out of the classroom is locking adults out of their future. Our public schools should have reopened months ago. Other countries’ did. Private and religious schools did.
Science has shown for months that schools are safe. But too often, powerful grown-ups set science aside. And kids like me were left behind. The clearest case I’ve seen for school choice in our lifetime is because we know that education is the closest thing to magic in America.
Last year, under Republican leadership, we passed five bipartisan Covid packages. Congress supported our schools, out hospitals, saved our economy, and funded Operation Warp Speed, delivering vaccines in record time. All five bills got 90 — 90 votes in the Senate. Common sense found common ground.
In February, Republicans told President Biden we wanted to keep working together to finish this fight. But Democrats wanted to go it alone. They spent almost $2 trillion on a partisan bill that the White House bragged was the most liberal bill in American history. Only 1 percent went to vaccinations. No requirement to reopen schools promptly.
Covid brought Congress together five times. This administration pushed us apart.
Another issue should — that should unite us is infrastructure. Republicans support everything you think of when you think of infrastructure. Roads, bridges, ports, airports, waterways, high-speed broadband — we’re in for all of that. But again, Democrats want a partisan wish list. They won’t even build bridges to build bridges.
Less than 6 percent of the president’s plan goes to roads and bridges. It’s a liberal wish list of big-government waste, plus the biggest job-killing tax hikes in a generation. Experts say, when all is said and done, it would lower wages of the average American worker and shrink our economy.
Tonight, we also heard about a so-called family plan. Even more taxing, even more spending, to put Washington even more in the middle of your life — from the cradle to college. The beauty of the American dream is that families get to define it for themselves.