Perhaps more so than any other event in recent history the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has revealed the yawning moral abyss at the heart of the Republican Party.
Lead by a president who repeatedly downplayed the risks of the virus before pivoting to shamelessly blaming everyone but himself for the federal government’s mismanagement of the crisis, conservatives are now calling for a premature reopening of the economy, even if it means a massive spike in the number of coronavirus deaths. Greed and hatred are the twin engines that power the GOP and the former is currently in overdrive.
Republicans argue that we have to get people back to work so they can support their families, even if it puts their health directly at risk. What these right-wingers conveniently ignore is that the government could help these same people by simply sending them more stimulus money until it’s safe to end the shelter at home orders. Of course, Republicans as a rule hate disbursing tax dollars to anyone but the uber-wealthy so that particular solution is anathema to then.
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Earlier today, Rep. Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) took to the House floor to blast the Republican Party for its collective failures during this unprecedented crisis. In particular, she criticized their rhetoric around the next planned virus relief package.
“It is a joke when Republicans say that they have urgency around this bill. The only folks that they have urgency around are folks like Ruth’s Chris Steak House and Shake Shack. Those are the people getting assistance in this bill,” said Ocasio-Cortez.
Shake Shack was one of several large companies that were criticized for taking millions of dollars in relief while smaller family businesses struggle just to stay afloat. While the company eventually caved and agreed to return the $10 million it had received, the incident highlighted the fact that the government is simply not doing enough to help Americans in need.
“You are not trying to fix this bill for mom and pops and we have to fight to fund hospitals!” Rep. Ocasio-Cortez went on. “Fighting to fund testing! That is what we are fighting for in this bill. It is unconscionable. If you had urgency you would legislate like rent was due on May 1st and made sure that we include rent and mortgage relief for our constituents,” the progressive icon went on,.
It was a powerful moment and she brought some well-deserved criticism to bear against Republicans who seem completely oblivious to the fact that many Americans live paycheck-to-paycheck and as such cannot afford to wait for a slow-moving government to get them the relief they need. They must act now.
Watch the clip below.
Rep. @AOC: "It is a joke when Republicans say that they have urgency around this bill. The only folks that they have urgency around are Ruth's Chris Steakhouse and Shake Shack… If you had urgency, you would legislate like rent was due on May 1st." https://t.co/0xokgVKK5l pic.twitter.com/aXMZbDorgu
— The Hill (@thehill) April 23, 2020
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