Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: $1.9 Trillion Relief ‘Should Be a Floor, Not a Ceiling’

Alexandria-Ocasio-Cortez Rages
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Rep.  (D-NY) on Friday defended President Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief measure, which the Senate passed Friday morning, contending the nearly $2 trillion price tag should “be a floor, not a ceiling.”

“Imagine being a policymaker in Washington, having witnessed the massive economic, social, and health destruction over the last year, and think that the greatest policy risk we face is providing *too much* relief,” she said. “Sounds silly, right? $1.9T should be a floor, not a ceiling”:

Ocasio-Cortez’s remarks follow the Senate’s passage of the proposal, which saw Vice President Kamala Harris casting the deciding vote in the split Senate. Her deciding vote sparked praise from Georgia Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-GA), who described it as “what democracy looks like”:

The $1.9 trillion relief package, which the Democrat-led House is expected to pass, follows the $2.3 trillion government spending and coronavirus relief measure former President Donald Trump signed in December. Months earlier, Trump signed the $2.2 trillion CARES Act. The first package provided $1,200 in direct stimulus payments to the American people, and the second offered $600. Biden’s proposal will provide $1,400 individual stimulus checks, which his team says equals $2,000 when combined with the $600 provided in the last proposal.

Many progressives, however, do not believe it goes far enough and are calling on Biden and Harris to include recurring payments in any future coronavirus relief measures. Meanwhile, other members of the Democrat caucus are hoping to tighten the eligibility threshold for future payments, drawing criticism from the 31-year-old New York lawmaker:

“We cannot cut off relief at $50k. It is shockingly out of touch to assert that $50k is ‘too wealthy’ to receive relief,” Ocasio-Cortez said in response to reports of Democrats such as Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) looking to phase out payments for individuals making $50,000.

“Millions are on the brink of eviction. Give too little and they’re devastated. Give ‘too much’ and a single mom might save for a rainy day. This isn’t hard,” she continued, repeating her belief that $1,400 is too small an amount in the first place.

“It should be $2000 to begin w/ anyway. Brutally means-testing a $1400 round is going to hurt so many people. THAT is the risk we can’t afford,” she warned, adding that conservative Democrats “can ask to tax $ back later if they’re so concerned.”

“All Dems need for the slam dunk is to do what people elected us to do: help as many people as possible,” she concluded:

House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-SC) predicted the next round of stimulus checks will be distributed “within a week” of the bill’s final passage.

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