Last Updated on December 18, 2020
Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MI) delivered a compelling rebuttal on the Senate floor to Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) after the latter blocked a bipartisan bill supported by President Donald Trump that would deliver $1,200 checks into the hands of working American families.
Johnson chose to directly oppose President Trump in his obstruction of the stimulus bill, claiming “past stimuluses” don’t “do much to stimulate the economy.” President Trump and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin made history in 2020 by successfully fighting for the authorization of $1,200 and $2,400 payments to working families during crippling COVID lockdowns.
The Wisconsin senator argued that the solutions to helping the American people instead consist of “lowering regulation to a reasonable level” and having a “competitive tax system.”
Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) objects to a relief bill, saying stimulus bills don't stimulate the economy.
He instead proposes “lower regulation” and “a competitive tax system.” pic.twitter.com/tp7CYLY3mk
— The Recount (@therecount) December 18, 2020
Hawley offered up a strong rebuttal to Johnson’s arguments Friday, arguing that the relief packages proposed by establishment Republicans ignore working families and instead reward banks, Big Tech, and corporate business interests.
“Now, [Senator Johnson] is right, this body has spent trillions of dollars in this year alone on COVID relief. We’re getting ready to spend, apparently, another trillion dollars more. And yet working people are told, they may be last, if they get relief at all,” Hawley said.
“I just urge members of these bodies, go home and try explaining that to the people of your state,” the Missouri senator said. “Go ahead. Try telling them why this body can bail out the banks – we bailed out the banks to such a tune that they’ve got money left over.”
Hawley added, “Wall Street is doing great. Big Tech, they’re doing great. The big multinational corporations, fantastic. Working people, working people are living in their cars. Working people can’t go to the doctor. Working people can’t pay their rent. Working people can’t feed their children. They should be first, Mr. President, not last, and it is no answer for this body to tell them, ‘Go get in an unemployment line.'”
"I just urge members of these bodies, go home and try explaining that to the people of your state."
"[Working people] should be first, not last." pic.twitter.com/L4nummeTwD
— The Columbia Bugle 🇺🇸 (@ColumbiaBugle) December 18, 2020
The Missouri senator promised to continue fighting to achieve the bipartisan stimulus for “as long as it takes.”
President Donald Trump has vigorously argued for a minimum of $1,200 payments to the American people, and has stated that the checks should ideally be $2,000 per person.
While Johnson has provided lip service to the fight to maintain election integrity and stand with President Trump in the electoral college vote, his decision to block the relief bill because of his fervent opposition to Trump-backed stimulus payments has left many constituents questioning where his true allegiances lie.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who warmly congratulated Joe Biden and Kamala Harris week, has also been reluctant to lend support to President Trump’s stimulus proposals.