Biden hits Senate Republicans over relief bill: ‘They’re so damn stupid’
Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden on Friday said Senate Republicans were “so damn stupid” for not passing House Democrats’ $3 trillion coronavirus relief bill.
“The Republican Senate need to do its job and pass the HEROES Act,” Biden said on a call with the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME).
“It passed through the House. Get state and local governments the funding they need to keep millions of people on the job. Because, here’s the — they’re so damn stupid, darn stupid. If you don’t have people on the job dealing with controlling the virus, then it’s just going to get worse,” Biden said.
The House-passed bill secures $915 billion for state and local governments. The bill is a top priority for AFSCME, which represents public-sector workers, President Lee Saunders said on the call. The organization endorsed Biden in March.
“We gotta stop playing the political game with the HEROES Act,” Biden said.
Biden said increased state and local funding would allow for every essential worker to receive coronavirus testing and be provided with personal protective equipment.
“Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats have been pushing hard as hell to fund local communities. The fact of the matter is that every town you work in … they have a budget and they cannot deficit spend. The only operation in the world that can do that is the federal government,” Biden said.
He noted that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) floated in April that states could declare bankruptcy as a result of the coronavirus.
“My God, what is going on here?” Biden said in response.
The former vice president also called the lack of support from the White House and Senate on funding for state and local governments “absolutely bizarre.”
“This is almost criminal the way in which he’s handled this,” Biden said about President Trump’s handling of the pandemic, especially in regards to testing and tracing availability for essential workers.
The $2.2 trillion CARES Act that Congress passed in March included $150 billion in aid to states and localities but some officials argued it was not enough to handle the increased spending on the coronavirus. Each state received at least $1.25 billion, with more populous states receiving more funding.
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