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Bernie Sanders Blasts Ron Johnson’s Hypocrisy for Supporing Tax Cuts for Himself While Opposing COVID-19 Relief

Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) tore into Wisconsin Republican Ron Johnson’s opposition to including an additional round of $1,200 direct payments to struggling Americans in the latest coronavirus economic relief package, which lawmakers on Capitol Hill have been negotiating for weeks.

Photo by STR/NurPhoto via Getty Images

“Sen. Ron Johnson objected to my bill to provide $1,200 to working families and $500 for kids because he’s “worried” about the deficit. Funny. He wasn’t so worried about the deficit when he voted to give $1 trillion in tax breaks to the 1% and large corporations,” Sanders tweeted on Saturday afternoon. “What hypocrisy!”

On Friday, Johnson, who voted for the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act which slashed tax rates for the ultra-rich and added an estimated $1 to $2 trillion to the national debt, twice blocked adding language drafted by Sanders and an unlikely bipartisan ally – Missouri Republican Josh Hawley – that would have authorized the federal government to issue more stimulus checks.

“I completely support some kind of program targeted for small businesses,” said Johnson. “So what I fear we’re going to do with this bipartisan package and what the Senator from Missouri is talking about is the same thing, is a shotgun approach. We will not have learned the lessons from our very hurried, very rushed earlier relief packages.”

Those bills, mind you, prevented the stalled American economy from spiraling into a free fall.

Johnson’s next excuse for propping up corporate entities – which exist only on paper – instead of human beings was that he had major concerns over adding to the ballooning annual budget deficit, which is projected to reach a staggering $3.3 trillion in 2020.

“When I first got here, I ran because we were mortgaging our kids’ future,” Johnson said later in the day, insisting that he is “not heartless. I want to help people. I voted to help people. I voted for the $2.2 trillion CARES Act, but I also am concerned about our children’s future.”

Sanders responded with another takedown.

“We did not take for an answer the Republican bill which did not have a nickel for unemployment benefits. We did not take yes for an answer for a bill that did not have a nickel for direct payments,” said Sanders.

Similarly, Hawley also balked at Johnson for suggesting that the United States is unable to afford to put cash into the pockets of a financially-strained population and an economy teetering on the verge of collapse.

“What we did back in March, that every Senator voted for, $1,200 for every working individual, $2,400 for working couples, 500 bucks for kids and dependents,” Hawley said in a speech on the Senate floor. “It’s the least that we can do. It should be the first thing to do.”

Thirty-one days until the election.



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