Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) has spoken out against a fellow Democrat who broke with the party in opposing an amendment to increase COVID-19 relief payments to $2,000, which passed in the House on Monday.
Ocasio-Cortez offered a list of remarks while responding to a tweet from Bloomberg reporter Erik Wasson, who quoted Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-Ore.) saying that “people who are making six figure incomes and who have not been impact by Covid-19 do not need checks” during debate over the bill from the House floor.
“1st of all, aid starts phasing out at $75k,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted, correctly noting that the legislation does not offer checks for individuals who are making “six figure incomes” as Schrader claimed.
“2. it’s already tied to outdated income info, don’t make it worse,” she added. “3. Ppl who made $100k+ also had income disrupted … 4. Is this really a good reason to block aid for millions …. 5. If you’re going to err, err on the side of helping people.”
Schrader is a member of the Blue Dog Coalition, a caucus of moderate Democrats in the House who espouse “fiscal responsibility,” along with a host of other centrist policies. The politics of Ocasio-Cortez, one of the chamber’s most prominent progressives, fall considerably to the left of Schrader.
The Democratic-controlled House passed the Caring for Americans with Supplemental Help (CASH) Act to amend the previously passed $600 relief checks, increasing them to $2,000, on Monday. The move came after President Donald Trump demanded that the amount in the initial bill, which he later signed, be increased by the same amount. Despite Trump’s insistence, it is not clear that the Republican-controlled Senate will vote to approve the amendment.
A majority of House Democrats were joined by 44 Republicans who also voted in favor of the CASH Act, while Schrader was one of only two Democrats who opposed the measure. Schrader railed against the bill during debate before the vote, calling it a “political maneuver” by Trump and “extremist” Republicans and Democrats, while also taking aim at lawmakers who “tweet their opinions.”
“This is an ineffective and poorly targeted approach to aiding Americans in distress,” Schrader said. “It is clearly a last-minute political maneuver by the president and extremists on both sides of the political spectrum, who have been largely absent during months of very hard negotiations.”
“They have chosen to tweet their opinions instead of coming to the table to get aid in the hands of Americans and small businesses that need it most,” he added. “We’ve had nine months to fix this program to get it to people who need it most.”