Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) told Breitbart News during a press conference on Wednesday that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) wants carveouts for millionaires to “shore up” support for Democrats.
Ernst, one of the Senate’s leading government waste hawks, unveiled legislation on Wednesday that would end a carveout for millionaires to obtain a taxpayer-funded unemployment benefit during the coronavirus outbreak.
Ernst’s bill, the Returning Inappropriate Cash Handouts (RICH) Act, would block Americans who lost their job but are still earning $1 million or more this year from receiving the $600 weekly unemployment bonus for the newly expanded unemployment coverage under the CARES Act. Ernst’s office noted that the legislation could save the bill as much as $2 million every week.
Ernst said during the press conference that millionaires continue to benefit while essential workers put their lives at risk.
“Folks, think about it. We have essential workers, many of them working long hours on the frontlines of the pandemic and putting their lives at risk, having their tax dollars taken out of their wallets and put into the pockets of millionaires who aren’t working,” Ernst said. “The question of the day: isn’t that just rich?”
“With our nation facing a record-breaking budget deficit of 4 trillion dollars, we cannot afford to be subsidizing the lifestyles of coastal elite millionaires,” she added.
Breitbart News asked Ernst why she thought Pelosi would create this carveout for millionaires. Pelosi also eliminated the limitations on the federal deduction for state and local taxes (SALT), which Republicans lowered through the Trump Tax and Jobs Act. The SALT deduction primarily benefits wealthy, mostly Democrat, and coastal states such as New York, New Jersey, and California.
Ernst said that these carveouts primarily benefit the Democrat donor class.
She told Breitbart News, “I mean, where is Nancy Pelosi from? She is one of those wealthy, coastal elites. To shore up their support for Democrats certainly, they want to include these carveouts, and allowing millionaires to take the extra $600 a week that is coming from people, from hardworking Americans and Iowans, is absolutely ludicrous. That’s not something that they paid into through payroll taxes; it’s just government funds that are going to these out-of-work millionaires.”
“They also did do away with the SALT provision that has been enacted through the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which gives those coastal elites greater advantage as well,” Ernst added. “So you would have to ask Nancy Pelosi why she and the other Democrats are providing these special breaks for wealthy millionaires when they claim to be for the hardworking middle class.”
Sean Moran is a congressional reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @SeanMoran3.