House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) is furious with his Democrat colleagues over their response to a call for revisions to the latest COVID-19 relief package.
According to Fox News, McCarthy said Wednesday that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and others in her party are “suffering from selective hearing” on the matter after President Donald Trump expressed his opposition to certain aspects of the bill.
“Wasteful and unnecessary items”
Congress voted this week to pass a $2.3 trillion package composed of a $1.4 trillion omnibus spending bill and $900 billion in coronavirus relief.
Two aspects of the latter proposal garnered significant attention and debate: the sum of direct stimulus checks and the inclusion of widespread foreign aid.
For starters, the bill includes payments of $600 to individuals or $1,200 for couples, plus another $600 for each dependent. Many supporters were encouraged by the compromise, though multiple news outlets shed light on the fact that the overall package included billions of dollars in funding for other nations.
Despite its bipartisan approval, critics on both sides of the aisle spoke out against these and other details. In a recent video, the president threatened to veto the bill if Congress does not address the two perceived problems.
Trump is calling on lawmakers to increase the direct payments to $2,000 and $4,000, respectively, and “to immediately get rid of the wasteful and unnecessary items from this legislation,” i.e., the excessive amount of foreign aid.
“Hold a recorded vote”
Since Trump posted his video, legislators have been jockeying for position with high-profile Democrats coming out in favor of the president’s call for bigger direct payments. Many of those same Democrats, however, do not appear to be on board with eliminating the foreign aid per Trump’s recommendation.
In a scathing letter released on Wednesday, McCarthy took aim at Pelosi and her party’s congressional leaders, accusing them of blocking previous attempts to provide relief for political reasons and of using “the American people as leverage to make coronavirus relief contingent on government funding — which includes billions of foreign aid at a time when there are urgent needs at home.”
He went on to say that “Democrats appear to be suffering from selective hearing” and “conveniently ignored [Trump’s] call to reexamine tax dollars wasted overseas” in contrast to his assertion that “Republicans will act to put America first.”
According to Fox, Pelosi defended her position, however, declaring that she would “bring the House back to session” on Monday and “hold a recorded vote on our stand-alone bill to increase economic impact payments to $2,000.”
The California Democrat went on to insist that lawmakers opposed to the bill “deny the financial hardship that families face” and “deny them the relief they need,” Fox reported.