Ocasio-Cortez blasts coronavirus stimulus package as ‘shameful’ on House floor
Freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) on Friday slammed the $2.2 trillion coronavirus stimulus passage passed in the Senate earlier in the week as “shameful” and argued that the bill was one of “the largest corporate bailouts” in “American history.”
During a debate on the Senate’s hefty stimulus package, the congresswoman took to the House floor to underscore the need for protective gear for medical workers in her district in Queens, N.Y., one of the areas hardest hit by the coronavirus outbreak.
Ocasio-Cortez then urged her fellow lawmakers to look at this bill that has been sent over to the lower chamber with “eyes wide open.”
“What did the Senate majority fight for?!” Ocasio-Cortez asked. “One of the largest corporate bailouts with as few strings as possible in American history. Shameful! The greed of that fight is wrong for crumbs for our families.”
The $2.2 trillion coronavirus stimulus package, passed unanimously in the Senate during a late-night vote Wednesday, will provide a $500 billion corporate fund, $377 billion in aid to small businesses, and $1,200 one-time checks to individuals who make up to $75,000.
The package was passed after both Democratic and Republican lawmakers worked tirelessly through several sticking points, one of them being the terms by which affected industries would be able to receive aid from the government.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), a fellow progressive and an ally of Ocasio-Cortez, took particular issue with the corporate fund. The Vermont senator fought for language in the bill that prohibited corporations from laying off workers or cutting wages, should they receive the aid.
The New York lawmaker continued during her speech on the House floor saying that this stimulus bill would further intensify the wealth gap between the richest and poorest people in the country.
“The option that we have is to either let them suffer with nothing, or to allow this greed and billions of dollars which will be leveraged into trillions of dollars to contribute to the largest income inequality gap in our future.”
“There should be shame for what was fought for in this bill, and the choices we have to make,” she continued.
The House was set to vote on the stimulus package Friday, however, a decision by Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) to call for a roll-call vote could delay the passage, as lawmakers travel back in haste to the nation’s capital to be present for a possible in-person vote.
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