On Monday, elected Democrats, for a second day in a row, blocked a vital bipartisan-crafted coronavirus stimulus package directed to ease the pain of Americans affected by nationwide precautions taken against the virus.
Republican Sen. John Kennedy of Louisiana unloaded on Democratic representatives over the delay, memorably remarking that the brain only stops working once “you get elected to Congress.”
“You know what the American people are thinking right now?” Kennedy asked. “They’re thinking that the brain is an amazing organ. It starts working in a mother’s womb, and it doesn’t stop working until you get elected to Congress.”
“You know what the American people are thinking right now, Mr. President?” the Republican continued. “They are thinking that this country was founded by geniuses, but is being run by a bunch of idiots.”
“You know what the American people are thinking right now, Mr. President? They’re thinking, ‘Why do the members of the United States Senate continued to double-down on stupid?'” Kennedy said.
“This is a not a Republican bill,” the senator underscored.
Moderate GOP Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, similarly furious with Democratic leadership, also noted that the bill was crafted by both Democrats and Republicans.
Collins, working in a bipartisan effort with other members of Congress, helped to create small business relief, for example, which was included in the package again delayed by Democrats.
“The fact is we’ve been working on a bipartisan effort through task force, with both Republicans and Democrats, making very good progress, and putting together a comprehensive package,” Collins said Monday. “This one is to address and prevent the economic devastation that is being caused by this virus.”
“We don’t have another day,” she emphasized. “We don’t have another hour! We don’t have another minute to delay acting.”
“How can any of us wanna see millions of Americans lose their paychecks, their health insurance, their contributions to their retirement plans?” Collins concluded.
The small business relief provisions offer loans that effectively turn into grants for employers that keep their employees on payroll until June 30.
The plan “would allow small businesses with fewer than 500 employees access to cash-flow through 100% federally guaranteed loans,” The Daily Wire reported Friday. “If employers maintain their payroll until June 30, 2020, the loans would be forgiven, effectively making them grants.”
The Daily Wire added: “If small businesses have already experienced worker losses due to the crisis – states like New York and California have already shuttered businesses by mandate – employers can still be eligible for the loan assistance by rehiring employees they lost as of March 1: ‘This proposal would be retroactive to March 1, 2020, to help bring workers who may have already been laid off back onto payrolls,’ guidance from [Sen. Rubio’s (R-FL)] office outlines.”
Kennedy and Collins weren’t the only Republicans to lose their cool over partisan delays. As highlighted by CBS News, Republican Sen. John Thune of South Dakota knocked Democrats: “The country is burning, and your side wants to play political games,” he said Monday. “It’s time to get this done. The American people expect us to act.”
Sen. John Kennedy: “Do you know what the American people are thinking right now? They're thinking that the brain is an amazing organ. It starts working in a mother's womb, and it doesn't stop working until you get elected to Congress.” pic.twitter.com/pUjn37TuDV
— Andrea Caruso (@AndreaNRuth) March 23, 2020