In a blistering speech, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) went off on Republican lawmakers Wednesday night for attempting to prevent the Senate’s emergency coronavirusrelief package from passing because it would include extra relief for the nation’s lowest-wage workers.
“Oh my word, will the universe survive?” he mocked his fellow senators as seen in a now-viral video from the Senate floor. “How absurd and wrong is that? What kind of value system is that?”
The Democratic presidential hopeful tore into objections made by four Republicans to provide laid-off workers with an extra $600 a week over the next four months, on top of what their state unemployment agencies pay.
Here’s Bernie Sanders pointing out the absurdity of Republicans clutching pearls over workers making a few extra bucks from the coronavirus bill when they had no problem with trillion-dollar tax cuts for the wealthy in 2017 pic.twitter.com/ABenmjayVl— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) March 26, 2020
Sanders said his Republican colleagues initially wanted to give those making the least amount of money the smallest amount of financial aid. This proposal, made by Sens. Lindsey Graham (S.C.), Ben Sasse (Neb.), Rick Scott (Fla.) and Tim Scott (S.C.), was ultimately defeated.
He noted that this proposed targeted reduction to the nation’s poorest followed the Republicans’ support for President Donald Trump’s 2017 tax plan that gave major tax breaks to billionaires and large corporations.
“Some of my Republican friends have still not given up on the need to punish the poor and working people. You haven’t raised the minimum wage in 10 years. Minimum wage should be at least 15 bucks an hour. You haven’t done that,” Sanders shouted on the Senate floor. “You’ve cut program after program after program and now, horror of horrors, for four months workers might be earning a few bucks more than they...