Christian: Congress Should Stop Playing Politics with Covid-19 Relief

December 22, 2020

AUSTIN – Commissioner Wayne Christian issued the statement below in response to Congress tying much needed COVID-19 relief to the end-of-the year omnibus spending bill:

It is unconscionable for Nancy Pelosi and leaders in Congress to hold COVID -19 relief hostage in order to fund their pet projects and give special interests everything on their wish list for Christmas.

Because of COVID-19 and government-mandated closures, millions of Americans are suffering this holiday season. Instead of doing the right thing and working together in a bipartisan manner to pass a clean relief package, Congress tied pandemic relief to a wasteful spending bill that funds the pet projects of every special interest group in Washington, D.C.

Representatives and senators (and their staff) were given six hours to read the 5,600 page legislation before they were expected to vote. They were never expected to read it. No, they were simply expected to step in line to avoid being shamed for voting against relief for their constituents.

All of the money in this bill could have been used to support small businesses and get Americans back on their feet. Instead, we are sending $700 million to Sudan and instructing the Smithsonian to build two new museums.

The legislation also includes what climate alarmists are calling a “down payment on climate change action” by spending $35 billion on additional energy subsidies for already heavily subsidized forms of energy like wind and solar. How heavily subsidized? When looking at federal taxpayer subsidies per unit of electricity generated between 2010 and 2019, oil and natural gas received 39 cents for every $82.46 that solar received, and every $18.86 that wind received.

Whether you support these subsidies or not, now is not the time to increase them. It is estimated that almost 22 million Americans are unemployed; we could have helped them instead of propping up inefficient forms of energy. For context, $35 billion is enough money to provide 58.3 million Americans with an additional $600 stimulus check.

A lifelong conservative businessman, Wayne Christian was elected as our 50th Texas Railroad Commissioner in November 2016. In June 2019, Christian was elected by his fellow commissioners to lead the agency as Chairman, a position he held until September 2020. Prior to his time at the Commission, Christian served seven Sessions in the Texas House of Representatives, accumulating a strong record of standing for free markets and against burdensome regulations. In addition to his duties as Commissioner, Christian was appointed by Governor Greg Abbott to serve as the Official Representative of Texas on the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission. Christian is married to his wife, Lisa, and together they have three daughters, Liza, Lindsey and Lauren.

About the Railroad Commission:
Our mission is to serve Texas by our stewardship of natural resources and the environment, our concern for personal and community safety, and our support of enhanced development and economic vitality for the benefit of Texans. The Commission has a long and proud history of service to both Texas and to the nation, including almost 100 years regulating the oil and gas industry. The Commission also has jurisdiction over alternative fuels safety, natural gas utilities, surface mining and intrastate pipelines. Established in 1891, the Railroad Commission of Texas is the oldest regulatory agency in the state. To learn more, please visit