Tulsi Gabbard and Rashida Tlaib only House Dems who voted against COVID relief: Here's why
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Two House Democrats were the only lawmakers to break with their party and vote against the $900 billion coronavirus stimulus package, which came after months of bickering between members of Congress.
WHAT'S IN THE NEW $900B CORONAVIRUS RELIEF PACKAGE?
Reps. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich. and Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, instead stood with 50 Republicans and 1 independent against the long-awaited relief bill, which passed the Senate later the same night.
They both voted against the first package that included defense and immigration spending as well.
The relief package will send a $600 direct stimulus payment to most Americans, and a $300 per week bonus federal jobless benefit to the unemployed, along with a new round of subsidies for hard-hit businesses, restaurants and theaters.
But Tlaib called the bill "woefully inadequate in addressing the needs of people," as the bipartisan agreement slashed benefits to half of what was doled out in the initial CARES package passed in March at the beginning of the pandemic.
CONGRESS PASSES $900B COVID-19 RESCUE PACKAGE AFTER TENSE NEGOTIATIONS
"The amount of help and support for our communities in this bill does not go nearly far enough, especially when our families have been waiting for over eight months for more help," she said.
Gabbard said of the checks that "$600 is a slap in the face to every American struggling due to the pandemic."
"You deserve better," she wrote in a post on Twitter.
The sweeping bill also contains $25 billion in rental assistance, $15 billion for theaters and other live venues, $82 billion for local schools, colleges and universities, and $10 billion for child care.
Democrats promised more aid to come once Biden takes office, but Republicans were signaling a wait-and-see approach.
This week's bill was tied to a $1.4 trillion spending package and other measures to address taxes, energy, education and health care, much to the dismay of Republicans who voted against the package.
WHY THE HOUSE SPLIT THE CORONAVIRUS AND OMNIBUS PACKAGE INTO TWO VOTES, AND WHAT IT MAY MEAN FOR NEXT CONGRESS
Although $1.4 billion was set aside for President Trump's U.S.-Mexico border wall, Democrats also managed to squeeze $12.5 billion more for domestic programs into the legislation.
"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," Gabbard said.
"This bill dished out hundreds of billions of dollars going toward special interests, going toward the military-industrial complex, going towards foreign countries meanwhile saying, 'Here's what's left for you. You get 600 bucks,'" Gabbard added, noting that the meager checks aren't nearly enough to cover rent and essential spending for the average American.
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The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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