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AOC warns Biden that sending fewer relief checks than Trump is ‘an own-goal’

Lawmaker says ‘Conservative Dems have fought so the Biden admin sends fewer [and] less generous relief checks than the Trump admin did’

Chris Riotta
New York
@chrisriotta
Thursday 04 March 2021 15:16
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Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D—NY) warned a compromise brokered between President Joe Biden’s administration and “conservative” Democrats on relief checks for Americans was “an own-goal” as some in her party fought to limit the number of taxpayers qualified to receive a third stimulus payment. 

The progressive lawmaker blasted her colleagues in a tweet on Wednesday after it was reported the Senate had reached a compromise that would limit the proposed $1,400 checks to Americans earning up to $80,000, with payments phasing out at $75,000. If approved, the deal would feature the most restrictive qualifications of all three rounds of payments sent during the Covid-19 crisis

“Conservative Dems have fought so the Biden admin sends fewer & less generous relief checks than the Trump admin did,” the congresswoman wrote on Twitter, quoting a report published by the Washington Post. “It’s a move that makes little-to-no political or economic sense, and targets an element of relief that is most tangibly felt by everyday people. An own-goal.”

She added: “We have a responsibility to show people in this country what a Democratic majority can do for working people.” 

The payments are part of the Biden administration’s proposed $1.9 trillion economic relief plan to address the Covid-19 crisis, a massive bill that includes extended unemployment insurance and $400 weekly jobless benefits through August.

The bill also includes funding for Covid-19 vaccinations and expansions of current relief efforts, including further investments towards the reopening of schools and child tax credits, which appeared to have support from both sides of the political aisle.

However, the sweeping stimulus bill does not have any support from Senate Republicans, and has faced scrutiny from some centrist Democrats like Senator Joe Manchin (D—WV). 

In order for the bill to pass, all 50 Democrats would need to vote in favour, followed by a tie-breaking vote from Vice President Kamala Harris. 

In a follow-up tweet, Ms Ocasio-Cortez went on to encourage her colleagues to support “more generous relief checks” as well as a $15 minimum wage and “ending the filibuster to protect our democracy.”

“It’s a once-in-generation shot,” she added, “and we need to legislate like it.”

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