Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) is calling a spending package amidst the Chinese coronavirus crisis “a slap in the face to every single American struggling,” as it offered billions to special interests and foreign countries while sending Americans a $600 stimulus check.
On Monday, the United States House and Senate passed the more than 5,500-page spending bill — meant to be relief for Americans impacted by economic lockdowns as a result of the coronavirus — that was filled with hundreds of billions of taxpayer money for foreign countries including Sudan, border security for Middle East countries, tax breaks for racehorse owners, pell grants for inmates, a potential increase in foreign labor market competition against unemployed Americans, a defunding of necessary detention space for border crossers, and billions for defense contractors.
At the same time, each single American will receive a $600 stimulus check while couples will get $1,200 checks. The $600 check is half of the total check amount that the federal government sent out earlier this year after forcing medium and small-sized businesses to close while multinational corporations were allowed to remain open.
Gabbard, in a video message, explained why she voted against the bill and slammed House Democrat leadership for failing to provide the text of the bill until just hours before the vote.
$600 is a slap in the face to every American struggling due to the pandemic. You deserve better.
I voted against the 5,593-page spending bill that gave billions to corporate interests, the military industrial complex & other countries, leaving crumbs for you who need help most. pic.twitter.com/82F1HYF43T
— Tulsi Gabbard 🌺 (@TulsiGabbard) December 22, 2020
I just got back from having voted on the House floor on this massive spending bill. I voted against it and I wanted to tell you why. First of all, this bill was over 5,500 pages long. We received the text of this bill at approximately 2:30 this afternoon. And we’re told we’d have to go and vote on it just a few hours later. There is no way that anybody in Congress had the opportunity or the time to go through and read this bill to know exactly what was in it.
I’ve been here long enough to see how provisions are snuck into these bills, literally in the dark of night without any announcement without telling anyone what is in it and then rushed through in the manner that we have just seen tonight. This is the height of irresponsibility and it is absolutely no way for the people’s representatives to be able to represent the interests of the American people. [Emphasis added]
The central part of this bill was supposed to be providing direct COVID relief to the American people who are struggling and who need help the most. This bill dished out hundreds of billions of dollars going towards special interest, going toward the Military-Industrial Complex, going toward foreign countries meanwhile saying ‘Here’s what’s left for you. You get $600.’ I’ll tell you, in Hawaii, that in most cases won’t even cover 25 percent of your rent. It is an insult and a slap in the face to every single American who is struggling because of this COVID pandemic, who is concerned about not being able to pay your rent, about eviction, about whether you’ll have enough to buy groceries or medicine for yourself or your loved ones. [Emphasis added]
This bill is a representation of the screwed up priorities of Washington. They should be fighting for you and making sure that you, the American people, come first. This bill did not do that. [Emphasis added]
In the House, 50 Republicans and two Democrats including Reps. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) Jim Banks (R-IN), Mo Brooks (R-AL), Matt Gaetz (R-FL), Paul Gosar (R-AZ), Chip Roy (R-TX), Lance Gooden (R-TX), and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) voted against the bill.
In the Senate, only six lawmakers opposed the bill including Sens. Rick Scott (R-FL), Rand Paul (R-KY), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Mike Lee (R-UT), and Ron Johnson (R-WI).
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder.