During a Senate debate regarding the override of President Trump's veto of the annual Defense Authorization Bill, Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) took the floor and asked his colleagues to try to think what it's like "on an hour-to-hour basis when you don't have enough money for food for your family" as he lamented the financial hardships Americans are facing as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
Murphy spoke shortly after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) blocked an attempt by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) to pass legislation to increase direct payments to Americans from $600 to $2,000.
Murphy went on to say that the 600 billionaires who live in America lost nothing during the pandemic. "They got richer," he said, adding that they "collectively added $1 trillion to their bank accounts."
"You know what's a smaller number than 600?" Murphy asked. "...There are 52 Republicans in this chamber -- 52 people who are going to have a decision to make about what to do in a country where millions are literally starving as we speak, while 600 billionaires count the $1 trillion of additional wealth they have accumulated during this period of national climate."
According to Murphy, the question to McConnell and Senate Republicans is simple: "Should we give $2,000 to low and middle-income Americans right now to help them survive this crisis? That's the decision Senate Republicans have to make right now."
"Because right now, 52 Senate Republicans serving in this chamber are the only thing standing in the way of $2,000 being sent to 160 million of our neediest citizens."
"Spare me the fake righteous indignation about the deficit all of a sudden," the senator added. "Three years ago these same deficit hawk Republicans passed a tax cut bill that before the pandemic hit had already added over $200 billion to the annual deficit, and that was a tax cut where 80% of the benefits went to the richest 1% of Americans."
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