Far-left Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and conservative firebrand Sen. Ted Cruz found rare common ground this week, agreeing that lawmakers didn’t have enough time to read the massive coronavirus relief bill before voting on it.
“This is why Congress needs time to actually read this package before voting on it. Members of Congress have not read this bill. It’s over 5000 pages, arrived at 2pm today, and we are told to expect a vote on it in 2 hours,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted late Monday after the $900 billion bill was approved.
“This isn’t governance. It’s hostage-taking,” she said, referring to a provision in the bill that would make illegal streaming for commercial profit a felony.
Less than an hour later, Cruz tweeted: “@AOC is right.”
“It’s ABSURD to have a $2.5 trillion spending bill negotiated in secret and then—hours later—demand an up-or-down vote on a bill nobody has had time to read. #CongressIsBroken,” continued the Texas GOPer, who later voted against the bill.
The bill was sent to President Trump for his signature hours after congressional leaders released the text of the 5,593-page package.
The bill contains $600 stimulus checks for those eligible, a $300 weekly unemployment benefit supplement and $284 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program, among a host of other provisions.
Ocasio-Cortez, who represents parts of Queens and the Bronx, said rushing a vote does a disservice to lawmakers and the public alike.
“And by the way, it’s not just members who need to see the bill ahead of time – YOU do. The PUBLIC needs to see these bills w enough time to contact their rep to let them know how they feel. Members are reeling right now bc they don’t have time to consult w/ their communities,” said Ocasio-Cortez, who voted for the package.
The $900 billion stimulus bill was included in a $1.4 trillion spending measure needed to keep the government operating past a midnight Tuesday deadline.
Joining Cruz in opposing it in the Senate were Sens. Rick Scott (R-Fla.), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.).