Who is Jared Golden, the only Democrat who voted against the stimulus bill?
The House passed the amended American Rescue Plan on Wednesday along nearly party lines, with one sole Democrat, Rep. Jared Golden, voting with Republicans.
The $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan passed the House with a 220-211 vote. GOP lawmakers were unanimous in their opposition to the bill. However, one Democrat sided with Republicans to vote against the Bill, Jared Golden of Maine. Why did he defy his party and vote “nay” on the popular covid-19 relief package?
Representative Jared Golden represents Maine’s 2nd congressional district, the largest east of the Mississippi. The district encompasses nearly 80% of the total land area of Maine outside the urban centers of Augusta and Portland. The district usually votes for the incumbent but Golden defied history and became the first challenger to defeat a sitting representative for the district since 1916 when he was elected in 2018.
Who is Representative Jared Golden?
Rep. Jared Golden is a former Marine who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. Prior to becoming a US Representative, he served his state in the Maine House of Representatives from 2014 to 2018.
Golden was one of a group of politically moderate military and national security veterans elected to Congress in the 2018 midterms from districts Donald Trump carried in 2016. He flipped the seat in his district in the first general election that ranked-choice voting was used, coming from behind in the second round.
Despite President Trump’s popularity in his district, he won re-election in 2020 even though Trump won Maine’s 2nd by seven points. He won his seat for a second term with 53% of the vote in the first round.
Why did Jared Golden vote against the American Rescue Plan?
In a statement from Representative Golden 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, they did not go far enough,” the statement continued.
The $15 minimum wage hike wasn’t included
Golden also took issue with the lack of a minimum wage hike which has been $7.25 per hour since 2009. Raising the minimum wage is a stated priority for Biden and the Democrats. The measure was dropped from the House version of the bill when it went to the Senate due to a ruling by the Senate parliamentarian. She decided that it didn’t meet the rules governing budget reconciliation which the Democrats used to pass the bill with a simple majority.
Senator Bernie Sanders introduced an amendment to add the bill back into the American Rescue Plan but it failed. Golden in his statement said “I voted for a $15 minimum wage in the last Congress, and given the opportunity, I intend to do so again.”
Representative Jared Golden’s full statement can be read here.