April 24, 2020 By Christian Murray
The House of Representatives passed the $484 billion relief package yesterday that was supported by every House Democrat except for Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
Ocasio-Cortez, who represents New York’s 14th Congressional district–the hardest hit district by COVID-19 in the nation, took exception to the bill arguing that it did little for mom and pop businesses and for working families. She noted that there was also a real need for greater funding for hospitals and testing.
The bill, which was signed into law by President Donald Trump Friday, includes $310 billion in new funding for the Payment Protection Program, a program designed to help small businesses keep their employees on their payroll; $60 billion for a separate small-business emergency loan and grant program; $75 billion for hospitals and health-care providers, and $25 billion for a new coronavirus testing program.
Republicans criticized Democrats for not moving fast enough to pass the legislation, arguing that small businesses were in immediate need of the funds. The passage of the legislation was slowed– as Democrats sought funding for hospitals, testing as well as state and local governments.
Ocasio-Cortez voiced her displeasure with the bill on the House floor prior to yesterday’s vote.
“On behalf of my constituents in the Bronx and Queens, New York’s 14th congressional district, the most impacted district in America…it is a joke when Republicans say that they have urgency around this bill,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “The only folks they have urgency around are folks like Ruth’s Chris Steak House and Shake Shack. Those are the people getting assistance in this bill. You are not trying to fix this bill for mom and pops.”
“We have to fight to fund hospitals, fighting to fund testing. That is what we’re fighting for in this bill,” she said. “It is unconscionable. If you had urgency, you would legislate like rent was due on May 1 and make sure we include rent and mortgage relief for our constituents.”
.@RepAOC @AOC: “It is a joke when Republicans say that they have urgency around this bill…you are not trying fix this bill for mom & pops. We have to fight to fund hospitals. Fighting to fund testing…It is unconscionable.”
Full video here: https://t.co/IBennHJzF3 pic.twitter.com/1rx1e16Unr
— CSPAN (@cspan) April 23, 2020
The Payment Protection Program, which is available for businesses and non-profits with fewer than 500 employees, was established through the CARES Act last month and ran out of funds within two weeks– despite $349 billion being allocated for it.
The program has been criticized by Queens business leaders since the moms and pops have been less able to take advantage of it—beaten to the punch by the bigger firms with banking relationships.
Tom Grech, the president of the Queens Chamber of Commerce, told the Queens Post this week that he was not aware of one Queens business that was funded by the program. He also noted that businesses with 50 or fewer businesses did not fare well.
“To date, I have not spoken to a single small business that has gotten a single cent from the Payment Protection Program,” Grech said, although he was an advocate for the bill since it would add $310 billion.
The program, which essentially provides a grant equating to 2.5 months of a company’s payroll, has been criticized for favoring large companies. Businesses have to file their application through a bank, and banks have been criticized for prioritizing their larger clients.
The New York Times reported this week that nearly all of JP Morgan Chase’s commercial and private banking clients got the PPP loan, while only 18,000 of its 300,000 small business banking customers who applied through its retail bank got one.
Meanwhile, CNN reported than 175 publicly traded companies received PPP loans as of yesterday. Many are returning the money following the backlash.
The legislation signed by Trump into law today has allocated $60 billion of the $310 billion PPP money for community-based lenders, smaller banks and credit unions. These institutions are more focused on helping the smaller businesses.
Michelle Caruso-Cabrera, who is one of the candidates trying to topple Ocasio-Cortez in the upcoming Democratic primary, criticized the incumbent for not working with Democrats in passing the bill. She said that the most immediate issue is getting the funds into the hands of small businesses and that this was not the time for grandstanding.
Typical @AOC. Grandstanding again. The only “Democrat” to vote NO. A socialist exploiting us for her radical anti-Democratic Party agenda. She opposes @SpeakerPelosi and opposes aid to us.
Divisive @AOC is using us. Send her back to ritzy Westchester. cc: @RaquelMartinTV https://t.co/O4Vy7OCkz7
— Michelle Caruso-Cabrera (@MCaruso_Cabrera) April 23, 2020
Caruso-Cabrera’s false call for unity while accusing AOC of grandstanding is pathetic. It’s the epicenter of the virus; the urgently community needs more than an unacceptable middle. Caruso-Cabrera can cowardly kowtow to big business and mediocrity in her own home. She’s a former tv anchor accusing AOC of “living large” — meanwhile, Caruso-Cabrera lived in Trump towers.
Yerrr, AOC voted against the $484 BILLION relief bill. How is that helping our Queens neighbors and businesses? Not one bit.
The Democrats voted her in and got rid of a congress man who was to be the speaker of the House. And they will vote for her again in huge numbers. That tells me a lot about Democrats.
Why does anyone listen to or care About anything this woman has to say. She is a total incompetent with zero credentials. She is like a contestant on some dumb political reality show….
The same can be said for Trump, tho. Borrows money from foreign banks Because his credit is worthless In the States. He’s a terrible businessman robing the poor to poop on a golden toilet. And a former REAL reality show host. And many imbeciles voted for him, which was much worse.
Ocasio had to go whats wrong with her the only one in her party who voted against the bill she is a hindrance to the districts she represents JOKE!!!!
I just hope she will lose in the upcoming primary election. The woman is a bad joke.
From the article you didn’t read..” arguing that it did little for mom and pop businesses and for working families. She noted that there was also a real need for greater funding for hospitals and testing.” How out of touch are you boomers anyway?
You are truly to be pitied. With all of this “Ok Boomer” and anti Boomer sentiment among you “youngins”, you display your inner rage. It’s misplaced and foolish, but that’s what anger will do to you. Without knowing you personally I can only guess at why all this deep seated anger. It’s either from being given everything you wanted in childhood and yet having emotionally distant parents OR being totally abandoned either emotionally or physically or both, as a child. This why I am not ridiculing you. We get it. You had some bad stuff happen in your youth and you’re pretty ticked off. Many of your peers have had a similar experience and of course you all seem to validate each other. This is “Mob mentality”. There will however, be no happy ending for any of you if you persist and do not change course. If you seek real truth you won’t find it with your peers, or boomers or the government or the left or right wingers. Real truth and Love comes from it’s originator. God. The God of the Bible. Jesus. He has the greatest love any of us could ever know and He directs His love towards us. It’s yours for the taking if you just accept who He is and what He’s done for you. God’s peace, wisdom and a contented rest of your life here is what you will receive from Him as well as an eternity with God in Heaven, the magnificence of which cannot be described in earthly terms. All you have to do to get this from Him is to truly want it and to ask Him. This is prayer. And if all this makes you unsure and wondering then just ask Him (with a genuine heart) to show you if He is indeed real. I guarantee, because He guarantees, that He will answer you. Don’t be misled by well meaning but never the less “clumsy” Christians who are so quick to point out the judgmental side of the Lord without speaking of His great love for us all. He made the way out of judgment for us thru Jesus. There’s that great love I just mentioned. This is the single most crucial, and life changing thing we can do. Realizing and accepting Jesus as our Savior. Don’t believe me? But still wonder about it? Ask God to show you if what I said is real. I surely write this for your benefit and anyone who reads it, but I’ll also be curious to see if the moderators post this. In the meantime I pray that He will show you the truth and that the truth will set you free!
Javier, I agree, and you are not alone. The next election is the Democratic Primary on June 23, and registered Democrats can vote by absentee ballot if desired.
AOCs latest vote against the $484 billion relief bill is crazy.
Shes crazy. Just look at her eyes. Like a crazy woman
AOC is an incompetent joke. She should go back to being a waitress. She did not help us working people in past 2 years a single bit. All she does it makes people fight each other while she counts that cash
Agreed. She’s like that instigator on the sidelines that will cause a fight between 2 best friends, then will sit there and watch them beat the hell out of each other in front of her. We need More Unity in this country.
maybe it wouldn’t have run out of money so fast if they hadn’t padded phase 1 with total bs ie kennedy center, npr & others with left wing agendas no mention of that though
The Human Torpedo again
She will not get my vote in the next election. And I’m a Democrat.