Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez voted AGAINST $483 billion coronavirus bailout because it’s ‘too small’ – The Sun
DEMOCRAT Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez apparently voted against the $483 billion coronavirus bailout because it's "too small."
The congresswoman reportedly wasn't in favor of the billion-dollar package approved by Congress Thursday to help struggling small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ocasio-Cortez was one of five representatives to give the fourth coronavirus relief bill a thumbs down after a two-week stalemate.
Despite her reservations, the measure was passed by 388 to five last night.
Ocasio-Cortez, along with Republican Reps. Andy Biggs, Ken Buck, Jody Hice, and Tom Massie also voted against it, while Independent Rep. Justin Amash voted present.
Before the vote, Ocasio-Cortez – who maintains she represents the "most impacted district in America" in New York's 14 congressional district – blasted her Republican counterparts for the lack of funding.
The Bronx politician said it is "a joke when Republicans say that they have urgency around this bill," claiming they are more concerned with big companies instead of struggling small business owners.
"You are not trying fix this bill for mom & pops," Ocasio-Cortez raged, citing the fact it didn't have enough "rent and mortgage relief for our constituents."
Dems had initially blocked the cash injection as they pushed for more funding for hard-hit state and local governments dealing with the crisis firsthand.
The approved new relief will aid employers and hospitals buckling under the strain of the killer pandemic that has claimed almost 50,000 American lives and one in six US jobs.
The Trump administration's $250 billion funding request, to replenish a fund to help small- and medium-size businesses with payroll, rent and other expenses, is anchoring the bill.
The payroll program provides forgivable loans so businesses can continue paying workers while forced to stay closed for social distancing and stay-at-home orders.
But some people feel that the business-backed Payroll Protection Program will exhaust the new $250 billion almost immediately.
The bailout also contains $100 billion demanded by Democrats for hospitals and a nationwide testing program.
There has also been $60 billion set aside for small banks and an alternative network of community development banks that focus on development in urban neighborhoods and rural areas ignored by many lenders.
Another $60 billion focuses on small-business loans and grants delivered through the Small Business Administrations existing disaster aid program.
Lawmakers gathered in Washington as a group for the first time since March 27, adopting stricter social distancing rules while seeking to prove they could do their work.
The almost unanimous vote to pass it brought it to the desk of President Donald Trump, who said he would "probably" sign it last night.
However, drama unfolded when some representatives didn't heed the advice of the Sergeant at Arms and Attending Physician of the Capitol, who had urged them to wear face masks in the chamber.
Trump ally Jim Jordan was one of the lawmakers who refused and was seen coughing into his wrist on the House floor – even though masks were available outside the main entrance.
Democratic Representative Jim McGovern of Massachusetts chided Jordan after his remarks.
"I would say that while we are all trying to show how fearless we are, we should be mindful of the people surrounding us," McGovern said.
And while Republican Louie Gohmert didn't don a mask, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi pulled down her scarf when she spoke.
"I'm going to follow her example," Rep. Tom Cole of Oklahoma said in a thinly-veiled dig.
"I think we should keep our mask on when we're doing our normal business but take them off when we're speaking and thank you for setting that example, Madam Speaker."
House members entered one-by-one from the side to vote by an electronic card reader just inside the entrance before exiting through the Speaker's Lobby.
The vote took 1 hour and 22 minutes to complete with most votes lasting around 15 minutes.
Pelosi confirmed Dems aimed to pass another large-scale stimulus package, like the $2.2 trillion CARES Act, saying "we call it our heroes bill."
But Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he isn't keen on what he called "blue state bailouts" and wants to wait until the Senate reconvenes on May 4 to discuss it.
Source: Read Full Article