The omnibus stimulus bill, which pours money into everything from missiles to horse racing and offers $600 in direct payment to struggling Americans, is “an insult and a slap in the face” of the people, Tulsi Gabbard said.
The outgoing representative from Hawaii gave a harsh evaluation of the controversial stimulus package, which many critics see as too little, too late for the country, which has been ravaged by Covid-19. She said she voted against the bill because it was rushed and catered to special interests rather than the needs of the people.
The almost 5,600-page package was distributed to lawmakers just hours before the vote, so “There is no way that anybody in Congress had the opportunity or time to go through and read this bill to know exactly what was in it,” Gabbard said.
And its actual content – which allocates money to things like missiles for the Pentagon and provides a tax break for corporate meals, dubbed the ‘three martini lunch’ by critics – is “an insult and a slap in the face to every single American in this country, who is struggling because of this Covid-19 pandemic.”
This bill is a representation of the screwed-up priorities of Washington.
The bill was passed by the Democrat-controlled House 359-53 on Monday and was given a 92-6 stamp of approval by the Republican-controlled Senate hours later. President Donald Trump is expected to sign it into law.
Gabbard, a maverick Democratic representative whose tenure ends next month, has a record of voting against her own party and has taken flack for it in the past. Arguably the most notable example was her ‘present’ vote on the articles of impeachment of President Trump a year ago. She said she could not in good conscience vote either ‘yes’ or ‘no’ because she believed the president to be guilty of wrongdoing, but saw the impeachment as a flawed process fueled by partisanship.