“They took care of their billionaire buddies and Wall Street bankers. Now they’re trying to say there’s ‘not enough’ left to help you and your family. It’s a lie.”
A top Republican senator who had no qualms with voting for a $1.5 trillion tax cut for the rich or a multi-trillion-dollar corporate slush fund said Sunday that, as millions of people across the U.S. struggle to afford basic necessities, there is “not enough money” to provide relief to everyone harmed by the coronavirus pandemic.
“There’s not enough money to help everybody hurt when you shut down the government,” Alexander, a Tennessee Republican and chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, said in an appearance on NBC‘s “Meet the Press.”
“We have to reopen the economy, we have to do it carefully, we have to let people go back to work and earn a living,” said Alexander. “And I don’t see us being able to appropriate much more money to help provide a counter to that.”
Progressive groups and economists reacted with outrage to Alexander’s remarks, which came amid ongoing debates over the next coronavirus stimulus package as the relief provided by previous measures—such as expanded unemployment insurance and one-time stimulus payments—proves inadequate to match the scale of the crisis.
Stephanie Kelton, professor of economics at Stony Brook University, tweeted Sunday that she “can’t believe we’re hearing, ‘We’re out of money’ in the early stages of a crisis. AGAIN.”
“The truth is, Congress can appropriate whatever it chooses,” Kelton said. “It literally cannot run out of money.”
The Working Families Party said that Republicans “took care of their billionaire buddies and Wall Street bankers,” and “now they’re trying to say there’s ‘not enough’ left to help you and your family.”
“It’s a lie,” the group tweeted.
They took care of their billionaire buddies and Wall Street bankers.
Now they’re trying to say there’s “not enough” left to help you and your family.
It’s a lie. https://t.co/XU2BIRCWSu
— Working Families Party 🐺 (@WorkingFamilies) May 10, 2020
Larry Kudlow, President Donald Trump’s top economic adviser, said Friday that formal negotiations with Congress over the next Covid-19 stimulus package have been suspended—even as other White House officials predict the U.S. unemployment rate could surpass 20% by next month. Under the CARES Act, which Trump signed into law in March, expanded unemployment benefits are set to expire by July 31 without additional action from Congress.
As the Trump administration and Senate Republicans stall on additional relief, claiming to be concerned about the rising national debt, House Democrats are in the process of crafting their own stimulus legislation that could be unveiled as early as this week.
The package, according to Axios, is expected to include an increase in federal nutrition assistance and Medicaid funding, expanded unemployment benefits, and another round of direct stimulus payments.
Megachurch denies throwing ‘COVID-19 parties’ after death of Florida teen
A Florida megachurch at the center of a major controversy surrounding the death of a local teenager is denying claims that it was throwing "COVID-19 parties."
The Christian Post reports that the First Assembly of God, a church based in Fort Myers, Florida, is denying claims that it held mass gatherings for teenage parishioners in which they were not required to wear face masks or socially distance.
Rapper fatally shot while ‘walking away’ by California security guard after dispute over face mask
A California security guard is facing murder charges after allegedly shooting a 1990s-era rapper while "walking away" after a dispute over face masks.
CNN reported that 50-year-old Jerry Lewis was killed by Umeir Corniche Hawkins at a market in Southern California on July 5.
A dispute occurred between the two men because Lewis was reportedly not wearing a mask.
According to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, Hawkins shot Lewis in the back as he walked away after the two had multiple encounters over the face mask.
GOP has all but given up on containment — instead they’re feeding Americans to the ‘coronavirus meatgrinder’: op-ed
Writing in The Week this Thursday, Ryan Cooper says that as the coronavirus continues to spike across the country, Republicans have essentially abandoned efforts to stem the spread. "Instead they are feeding the American people into the coronavirus meatgrinder," he writes.
GOP Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is focused on protecting companies from liability if they infect their employees or customers, while President Trump threatens to cut off funding from schools that don't open in the fall.
"For months now Republicans have been positing a tradeoff between pandemic containment and the economy, as if we just cancel the lockdowns then everything can go back to normal," Cooper writes. "What they stubbornly refuse to understand is that the virus is the problem. As we are seeing, even in this benighted country a critical mass of people will not go about their normal activities if they are afraid of catching a dangerous disease. Similarly, Sweden did not officially lock down, and as a result it has suffered six-12 times as many deaths as its Scandinavian neighbors — yet its economy took just as bad a hit as theirs. Now that Norway, Denmark, and Finland have contained the virus and are reopening safely but many Swedes are still staying home, the economic damage will be even worse in relative terms."