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‘We Are Abdicating Our Responsibility’: Ocasio-Cortez Rips Senate Passage of Inadequate COVID-19 Interim Bill

Following the Senate’s passage Tuesday of an “interim” $480 billion coronavirus stimulus bill that excludes nearly every progressive priority—from hazard pay for frontline workers to recurring stimulus checks—Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez ripped Congress for continuing to push off desperately needed relief as the U.S. death toll from COVID-19 continues to mount.

“We are abdicating our responsibility,” Ocasio-Cortez, a New York Democrat, said in an interview on MSNBC late Tuesday. “Thousands of people are dying every day… and every time we pass one of these bills we’re hearing that the real solution is coming in the next bill, and then the next bill, and the next bill, and at some point, we have to raise our hands and say, ‘When is the solution coming?'”

“If we are going to bring back every member… to pass a small incremental bill with the knowledge that we are not coming back until next month again, that’s two rent checks.”
—Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Ocasio-Cortez was the only congressional Democrat to oppose the multi-trillion-dollar CARES Act that Congress passed last month, condemning the package as “one of the largest corporate bailouts, with as few strings as possible, in American history.”

As Common Dreams reported Monday, Ocasio-Cortez said during a press call that she is leaning toward voting against the interim bill when the House considers the package on Thursday. The legislation includes over $300 billion in additional funding for a flawed small business loan program, $75 billion for hospitals, and $25 billion for COVID-19 testing.

“If we are going to bring back every member… to pass a small incremental bill with the knowledge that we are not coming back until next month again, that’s two rent checks,” said Ocasio-Cortez.

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Common Dreams

This article is republished from Common Dreams under a Creative Commons 3.0 license.