Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez says Democrats should look past the ‘sugar high’ of another $1,200 stimulus check — and urges them to hold out for a bigger aid package that includes state aid and health funding

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
  • Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York said Democrats should continue holding out for a sizable coronavirus relief deal.
  • "That $1,200 is a nice little sugar high... but a second check in and of itself alone — if we're not going to support state and local funding, if it's not going to include significant investments in testing, tracing capacity and infrastructure — all it is is a little sugar high," she told Politico.
  • Her comments channel the mounting anxiety among many House Democrats over the lack of an economic aid package.
  • Democrats are insisting on at least $2.2 trillion in new spending, an amount rejected by the White House last month during negotiations that ultimately went nowhere.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez urged members of her own party to hold out for a bigger coronavirus relief package that includes their key priorities like a second stimulus check, state aid, and health funding.

In a Politico interview, the New York congresswoman said it would take a large stimulus plan to confront the twin economic and health crises stemming from the pandemic.

"This administration, it seems what they want to do is cut another $1,200 check, but they don't want to actually provide state and local [aid]," Ocasio-Cortez said. "That $1,200 is a nice little sugar high, and I support giving another stimulus check, but a second check in and of itself alone — if we're not going to support state and local funding, if it's not going to include significant investments in testing, tracing capacity and infrastructure — all it is is a little sugar high.

She continued: "It's not going to solve the critical issues of the pandemic."

Ocasio-Cortez's comments reflect the growing anxiety among many Democratic lawmakers on the lack of progress towards a fifth stimulus package. An increasing number of House Democrats are urging Speaker Nancy Pelosi roll out another plan separate from the $3.4 trillion spending measure they approved in May.

The mounting frustration in both parties prompted a group of 50 bipartisan House lawmakers to introduce another $1.5 trillion spending plan that includes another round of stimulus checks, state aid, and federal unemployment benefits. But top Democrats slammed it as inadequate, further shrinking the prospects of a deal before Election Day.

Read more: Morgan Stanley says the stock market's future is 'unusually dependent' on another stimulus package — and recommends 5 portfolio moves to make if Congress passes another round

Senior Democratic lawmakers told their caucus on Tuesday they would be kept on standby in case a deal was struck when they head back to their districts on October 2, the start of the recess.

Republicans have called to design and implement a "targeted" proposal much smaller compared to what Democrats are seeking. Democrats are insisting on at least $2.2 trillion in additional government spending on state aid, stimulus checks, and health funding.

The GOP recently unveiled another plan with roughly $300 billion in new spending that Democrats blocked on Thursday, assailing it as "emaciated." The Trump administration does not appear to be insisting on swift action to prop up the economy.

During an ABC News town hall on Tuesday evening, President Donald Trump said he would seek a compromise with Democrats "at the right time."

Talks between the White House and congressional Democrats collapsed in August amid fierce disagreements on federal spending levels and competing priorities. Much of the conflict was centered on state aid and the amount of unemployment benefits to provide.

Meanwhile, critical components of the last economic stimulus plan that Congress approved in March expired over the summer.

Nearly 30 million Americans are drawing some form of unemployment benefits. A federal program that the Trump administration put in place with executive action early last month is already exhausted of funding with states capped at providing only six weeks of new jobless payouts.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Comments are closed.