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.
“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!”
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. What hypocrisy!
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) December 19, 2020
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.