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At the risk of being called the Christmas Grinch, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., took to the Senate floor Monday to deliver a blistering speech ahead of the vote to pass a $900 billion coronavirus relief package.
Taking fellow Republicans to task for supporting the “monster spending bill,” Paul points out that it’s everything they claim they don’t believe in.
Congress passed the rescue package late Monday along with a massive $1.4 trillion government spending bill to fund federal agencies for the new fiscal year — a 5,593-page bill dropped on members just a few hours before the vote.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., called the measure “another historic rescue package to help American families through this pandemic,” suggesting that this is what “struggling Americans have needed for months.”
“This bill is free money for everyone. Proponents don’t care if you’re fully employed, or own your own house, or own your own business,” Paul said. “Free money for everyone, they cry — and yet, if free money were the answer, if money really grew on trees, why not give more free money? Why not give it out all the time?”
“Why stop at $600 a person? Why not $1,000? Why not $2,000?” he added. Maybe these new ‘Free-Money Republicans’ should join the ‘Everybody-Gets-A-Guaranteed-Income Caucus’? Why not $20,000 a year for everybody, why not $30,000? If we can print out money with impunity, why not do it?”
Paul reminded his colleagues that the end result is a U.S. dollar that has no value.
“To so-called conservatives who are quick to identify the socialism of Democrats: If you vote for this spending monstrosity, you are no better,” he said. “When you vote to pass out free money, you lose your soul and you abandon forever any semblance of moral or fiscal integrity.”
The senator would go into detail about how dire the fiscal picture is in America as Congress approved $600 relief checks for everyone — and drew fire from people for that after previously passing stimulus payments of $1,200 per adult.
“If you’re looking for more COVID bailout money, we don’t have any. The coffers are bare,” he said. “Congress has spent all the money long ago.”
The bill also provides a temporary $300 weekly boost to unemployment benefits, and over $280 billion for Paycheck Protection Program loans for businesses. Schools and colleges will get $82 billion in funding, and there is another $25 billion for rental assistance and an extension of the eviction moratorium.
Sen. Paul called out the “overzealous” actions of local and state officials, saying that Congress is only helping “to perpetuate these lockdowns.”
“We are borrowing and worsening this debt crisis in part because too many governors and mayors have imposed heavy-handed restrictions that crush business,” he said. “It isn’t the pandemic that’s killing the economy, it’s the government’s overzealous response that is killing the economy.”
“The more money that we give to the states the more they keep us in lockdown. Every bailout dollar printed and passed out to the governor only allows these tinpot dictators to perpetuate the lockdowns,” Paul charged. “Their rules are arbitrary and unscientific. Governors and mayors across the country are picking winners and losers.”
The Senate passed the relief package and government spending bill 91-6, with Paul being joined by five other Republicans in voting against it.
The other five were Sens. Rick Scott, R-Fla., Mike Lee, R-Utah, Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., Ted Cruz, R-Texas and Ron Johnson, R-Wis.
Senate passes $2.3 Trillion spending package consisting of $900B COVID relief bundled with $1.4T omnibus bill by a vote of 92-6
The 6 “No”
• Blackburn (TN)
• Cruz (TX)
• Johnson (WI)
• Lee (UT)
• Paul (KY)
• Rick Scott (FL)
2 Senators didn’t vote
Enzi (WY) & Rounds (SD) pic.twitter.com/o9poZ6RwZK
— Mona Salama (@MonaSalama_) December 22, 2020
In a politics makes for strange bedfellows moment, Sen. Cruz took to Twitter to agree with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., about the monster bill being dropped just hours before a vote.
This is precisely what spurred the massive tea party revolt in 2009 — Cruz tweeted: “[email protected] is right. It’s ABSURD…”
.@AOC is right.
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) December 21, 2020
Sen. Paul shared his floor speech online where it trended for hours, noting that lockdowns are compounding the problem.
He added: “We are borrowing and worsening this debt crisis, in part, because too many governors and mayors have imposed heavy handed restrictions that crush business…”
We are borrowing and worsening this debt crisis, in part, because too many governors and mayors have imposed heavy handed restrictions that crush business…https://t.co/oh3gantiQl
— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) December 21, 2020
Conservative filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza tweeted that Paul’s speech was “one of the best speeches I’ve ever heard from the Senate floor.”
D’Souza encouraged followers to “watch every second of this.”
This is one of the best speeches I’ve ever heard from the Senate floor. @RandPaul hits the nail right on the head when it comes to this new stimulus bill.
I encourage you to watch every second of this: https://t.co/mfmUxHbzWu
— Dinesh D’Souza (@DineshDSouza) December 21, 2020
But others, primarily on the left, came for the libertarian-minded senator’s head:
Rand Paul voted against covid relief.
Remember that when his miniature Scrooge ass starts wishing everyone a Merry Christmas… https://t.co/KgIGb5uAJk
— Rex Chapman🏇🏼 (@RexChapman) December 22, 2020
If you were looking for the worst people in Congress, they are:
They voted against giving #COVID relief to millions of Americans in food lines & being evicted. They should be shunned & pilloried.
— Victoria Brownworth🎄🕎☮ (@VABVOX) December 22, 2020
6 miserable excuses for human beings who wanted to deny relief to Americans starving, suffering and on the brink eviction in the midst of the worst pandemic in a century. Remember their names:@SenTedCruz @MarshaBlackburn@SenRonJohnson @RandPaul @SenMikeLee @SenRickScott
— Amy Siskind 🏳️🌈 (@Amy_Siskind) December 22, 2020
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