Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York said Friday lawmakers should be ashamed of themselves for only providing “crumbs” to the American worker in the “phase 3” coronavirus response bill, while spending hundreds of billions of dollars on one of the largest corporate bailouts in the country’s history.
“What did the Senate majority fight for? One of the largest corporate bailouts with as few strings as possible in American history. Shameful,” Oasio-Cortez said.
“The greed of that fight is wrong for crumbs for our families.”
“And 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 about what was fought for in this bill, and the choices that we have to make,” the self-described “democratic socialist” added.
.@RepAOC @AOC: “Our community’s reality is this country’s future if we don’t do anything. Hospital workers do not have protective equipment. We don’t have the necessary ventilators. We have to go into this vote eyes wide open…” pic.twitter.com/PaFGc9ncKM
— CSPAN (@cspan) March 27, 2020
The Senate passed the $2.2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act on Wednesday unanimously in 96-0 vote.
The House also passed the legislation Friday in a voice vote.
Among other measures, the bill includes $1,200 payments to most American adults, along with $500 per child.
Thus, an average family of four would receive $3,400.
The estimated total cost for these payments is $300 billion, NPR reported.
The CARES Act also provides for enhanced unemployment benefits for four months, matching 100 percent of workers’ salaries prior to losing their job.
Unemployment benefits normally consist of a lesser percentage of a worker’s pay, topping out at approximately $700 per week, depending on the state where one resides.
The total cost of benefits going directly to individual American workers through these benefits is estimated to be $260 billion.
Additionally, the legislation provides $350 billion in small business loans for companies with 500 employees or fewer.
“Any portion of that loan used to maintain payroll, keep workers on the books or pay for rent, mortgage and existing debt could be forgiven, provided workers stay employed through the end of June,” according to NPR.
The CARES Act also includes about $500 billion in loans and grants to major corporations.
Included in this figures is $58 billion for the airline industry, which has been one of the hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic.
During the White House’s daily coronavirus news briefing on Thursday, President Donald Trump said, “I want to thank Democrats and Republicans in the Senate for unanimously passing the largest financial relief package in American history, 96 to 0.”
“I am profoundly grateful that both parties came together to provide relief for American workers and families in this hour of need,” he added.
“I want to thank Democrats and Republicans in the Senate for unanimously passing the largest financial relief package in American history … I am profoundly grateful that both parties came together to provide relief for American Workers and Families in this hour of need.” pic.twitter.com/7BSc7CJOLP
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) March 26, 2020
Trump noted the legislation includes “critical support for the hardest-hit industries with a ban on corporate stock buybacks and tough new safeguards to prevent executive compensation abuse.”
The president explained on Fox News’ “Hannity” on Thursday night, “A lot of this money is going to save Boeing, it’s going to save the airline industry.”
— GOP (@GOP) March 27, 2020
“In all cases, we intend on getting the money back, getting interest, and in some cases, many cases … we’ll get pieces of the company, large pieces of the company, and that will come back and inure to the benefit of U.S. taxpayers.”
CNN reported the federal government ultimately made a $15.3 billion profit from the $426 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program, which was initiated during the 2008 financial crisis to keep major banks and automakers afloat.
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