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Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick is calling on Congress to show solidarity with Americans hurt by the coronavirus crisis and take a pay cut.
With millions of people across the nation facing financial hardship due to government decisions to shut down the economy, Patrick believes members of Congress who “are not hurt” by the same constraints should stand with citizens, telling Fox News host Laura Ingraham that it’s high time lawmakers in Washington “feel some of this pain.”
(Source: Fox News)
The Republican lawmaker noted on “The Ingraham Angle” Friday that Texans are ready to get back to work and a slow, safe reopening is being planned by state officials.
Ingraham asked Patrick about people’s worries that “their way of life is just going to go along with the virus,” noting examples in states like Michigan where cars with protesters staged a demonstration at the State Capitol in Lansing this week to push back against coronavirus restrictions.
“I believe with the president’s lead and with the private sector finding a vaccine at some point, will get back to life as it was but we’re starting now to begin that process,” Patrick replied but added that “people are getting really upset” with “Democrats in Congress not showing up to do their job.”
He pointed to the lack of progress on helping small businesses financially impacted by the mandatory shutdown orders, referring to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Democrats blocking a bill to replenish the Paycheck Protection Program.
The federal government’s stimulus efforts to help small businesses have run out of funds and Republican efforts to pass a “clean” bill that would include $250 billion in additional money failed to pass due to Democrats’ objections and calls for funding for hospitals, community health centers, and state and local governments.
“This morning, the program ran out of money and shut down, just as we’d warned. But even now, Senate Democrats are still blocking funding. Every Senate Republican was ready to act today, but Democrats would not let us reopen the program,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said from the Senate floor this week.
Patrick told Ingraham Republicans should “show up every day in the Senate, in the House and sit at your desk and say we are here to do the people’s business.”
He went on to add another rebuke of Democrat lawmakers.
“I’m really tired of Nancy Pelosi and Congress because they’re, you know what? They’re not hurt by this, Laura, they make $174,000 a year,” Patrick said.
“They haven’t had their pay cut, they’re at home, they’re doing nothing. It’s time for them to get back to work and, quite frankly, I think they need to take a half-pay cut,” he added, noting that Texas lawmakers – including himself – make about $600 per month, working 50 hours a week as “volunteer public servants.”
“It’s time for Congress to take a pay cut so they feel some of this pain that people at home are feeling because Congress isn’t feeling any pain,” Patrick said. “The people in the small businesses are. Get back to work and cut your pay and show that you’re with us.”
Ingraham heartily agreed with her guest.
“Get back to work! I’ve been saying this for a month. Where’s Congress?” she said. “The state houses all across this country and Congress should have had their butts in their offices doing the work of the American people.”
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