GOP Rep Voices Support for Sending Stimulus Checks Only to Vaccine Recipients

One Republican congressman who is cool to the notion of giving out a third round of stimulus checks to Americans said he could warm up to the idea if it were used as an incentive to fight the coronavirus.

In an interview with Yahoo News, Republican Rep. Steve Stivers of Ohio cited the creative combination as a way that items on the agendas of both parties might be combined.

Stivers said that in the response to COVID-19, “It’s so important that we build herd immunity as soon as we can.”

Herd immunity is the collective resistance to a virus within a population that emerges after many people have had a disease, recover and develop antibodies. Herd immunity slows the spread of a virus, which is why developing herd immunity has become a much-discussed concept in the context of COVID-19.

“While I am not for giving a $1,400 stimulus check for anything, I’d be willing to sign off on a stimulus check of $1,400 for people who take the vaccine,” he said.

“And I hope the administration will look at that option because we actually buy something with our $1,400, and that’s herd immunity.”

Stivers also noted that in terms of helping local governments fight the virus, more money might not be as useful as giving governments more time to spend what they have already been allocated.

“Many of us would be willing to take the aid to state and local governments that has already been spent or already been allocated and extend the timeline, as opposed to increasing the dollar amount,” he said.

“Just let them use it into the new year because much of that money expired at the end of the year.”

Stivers said the federal government should not keep piling up debt if there is another option.

“You don’t want to take on debt for operating costs,” he said, adding that he could accept a debt increase for an infrastructure package.

“But I am hopeful that we aren’t just going to keep doing operating expenses and borrowing more and more money for that. So, and that’s how I feel about a lot of these coronavirus relief packages. They’re ongoing expenses, and we just keep borrowing more and more.”

“The quickest thing we need to do if we really want to help the American people is get this economy turned back on, get people back to work, get kids back in school, get ourselves some herd immunity, get the vaccine distributed as quick as we can and get the uptake rate up. That’s why I’d be willing to accept a $1,400 stimulus check if people were willing to take the vaccine,” he said.

Stivers also said that despite the need for Congress to move quickly, it is likely to do just the opposite, citing the looming impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump.

Nothing that “under the Senate rules, everybody wants to talk, and everybody gets to talk,” he said impeachment will use up “floor time that could be used to pass a coronavirus package, an infrastructure package, housing packages, a lot of other issues that are important to this country.”

“So, you know, I wish we weren’t spending time impeaching somebody that’s already gone. But that horse is already out of the barn, I guess,” he said.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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