- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard says the latest coronavirus relief is a giant “slap in the face” to hardworking Americans and emblematic of the “screwed-up priorities of Washington.”

The Hawaii Democrat addressed supporters late Monday on her rejection of the $900 billion legislation (along with a $1.4 trillion omnibus bill added on), which passed both chambers of Congress shortly before midnight.

“First of all, this bill was over 5,500 pages long,” she said. “We received the text of this bill at approximately 2:30 this afternoon, and we’re told you have to go and vote on it a few hours later. There is no way that anybody in Congress had the opportunity or the time to go through and read this bill to know exactly what was in it. I’ve been here long enough to see how provisions are snuck [sic] into these bills in literally in the dark of night, without any announcement, without telling anyone what is in it and then rushed through in the manner that we have just seen tonight.” 

Ms. Gabbard’s Twitter video went viral on the platform and garnered over 1.1 million views within hours.

“This is the height of irresponsibility, and it is absolutely no way for the people’s representatives to be able to represent the interests of the American people,” she continued. “The central part of this bill was supposed to be about providing direct COVID relief to the American people who are struggling and who need help the most. This bill dished out hundreds-of-billions of dollars going towards special interests, going towards the military industry complex, going towards foreign countries. Meanwhile, saying, ‘Here’s what’s left for you. You get 600 bucks.’”

The lawmaker blasted her peers for passing legislation — after months of political wrangling — that couldn’t “cover 25%” of most Hawaiians’ rent.

“It is an insult and a slap in the face to every single American in this country who is struggling because of this COVID pandemic who is concerned about not being able to pay the rent, about eviction, about whether you’ll have enough to buy groceries or medicine for yourself or your loved ones,” she said. “This bill is a representation of the screwed-up priorities of Washington.”

• Douglas Ernst can be reached at dernst@washingtontimes.com.

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