After bailing out the nation’s biggest banks, Congress is now hesitant on whether to provide Americans with a second round of stimulus checks as 24.5 million remain jobless or underemployed, Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) said in a speech on Friday.
During a speech on the Senate floor, Hawley blasted Congress — and specifically, Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI), who objected to stimulus checks for Americans — for coming to the aid of Wall Street, Big Tech, and multinational corporations while arguing over whether to provide American citizens with direct relief following forced shutdowns by state and local governments.
Hawley’s plan would provide single Americans with $1,200 stimulus checks and couples with $2,400 checks. Each minor child in a family would be provided with a $500 check — the same plan was included in the CARES Act passed earlier this year.
Johnson objected to giving stimulus checks to Americans, saying he was concerned about the federal deficit, even as the spending bill would still include hundreds of billions of dollars worth of stimulus without the inclusion of Hawley’s plan.
“We bailed out the banks to such a tune that now they’ve got money left over,” Hawley said in response to Johnson. “Now we’re going to take money back because we spent so much on Wall Street and the banks in the first part of this year. That’s right.”
Working people have put America first again and again. They have come to this nation’s aid at every hour of need. It’s time the Senate put them first. Get them direct #covid relief now pic.twitter.com/u380twZK7Y
— Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) December 18, 2020
“Now, Wall Street is doing great. Big tech? They’re doing great. The big multinational corporations? Fantastic,” Hawley continued. “Working people? Working people are living in their cars. Working people can’t go to the doctor. Working people can’t pay their rent. Working people can’t feed their children.”
Hawley said the consideration of working and middle-class Americans “should be first … not last” when negotiating the stimulus package and asked Senators to explain to their constituents why they oppose direct relief to them.
“I just urge members of these bodies, go home and try explaining that to the people of your state,” Hawley said. “Go ahead. Just try. Try telling them why this body can bail out the banks.”
Indeed, the nation’s biggest banks were gifted billions in the CARES Act as they collected fee payments for processing loans to small businesses under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).
In April, class action lawsuits were filed against JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, and Bank of America for allegedly prioritizing large PPP loans by big companies with political connections ahead of small loans for small and medium-sized businesses. PPP was designed to be first come, first serve but the lawsuit claims the banks reshuffled their applications to prioritize which loans would make the most money for the bank.
There are currently 24.5 million Americans who are unemployed or underemployed, but all want full-time jobs, through no fault of their own mostly as a result of the pandemic. The economic nationalist policy has widespread, overwhelming support among Americans.
In September, a Gallup poll found that 70 percent of Americans supported a second round of stimulus checks, while polling from March by OnePoll found that 82 percent of Americans said stimulus checks should continue each month until lockdowns are completely ended.
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder.