Just after the Senate voted unanimously to approve the largest stimulus package in the history of the country Wednesday, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) joined The Daily Wire’s Michael Knowles for another late-night edition of “VERDICT” to break down how the bill finally got passed and what it means for the American people.
“The vote was unanimous, 96 to nothing,” Cruz said at the start of the episode. “Every single Republican voted yes, every single Democrat voted yes, and we just passed out a $2 trillion emergency relief package — which hopefully will have significant effect relieving the economic devastation being caused by this corona crisis.”
Asked about why the bill had to be passed by the Senate so late in the week, when it was supposed to be voted on over the weekend, Cruz responded, “Well, that’s an easy answer. It’s two people: it’s Nancy Pelosi and it’s Chuck Schumer.”
“Everybody thought we were going to vote on this Sunday night,” the senator explained. “[A]bout a dozen Democrats were part of the negotiating teams — they had all been active, engaged. And we thought we were going to take it up Sunday and get it passed.”
Then, said Cruz, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi “came in at the last minute and she threw a hand grenade in. She began making all of these completely unrelated, partisan demands.”
When the senators showed up Sunday night, “every single Democrat voted to block our getting on the bill, our even starting to consider it.”
“So they blocked it on Sunday night, they blocked it Monday, all day Tuesday, all day today until about 11 o’clock [Wednesday] night when we got it passed,” he explained.
Asked if the Democrats achieved anything by stalling the vote for their non-crisis-related demands, Cruz said, it’s “complicated,” but that most of the partisan demands are gone.
“Most of the extraneous partisan issues that Pelosi was fighting for, almost all of them have dropped out of the bill. So that’s good,” he said. “What she held everything hostage for Sunday and Monday and Tuesday is mostly gone.”
“Two trillion dollars is a crap ton of money,” Cruz underscored. “That’s 10% of our national debt — not of our deficit, 10% of our national debt. In over two centuries, we just spent 10% of it tonight… It’s worth pausing to think that was unanimous. That means Bernie Sanders voted for it, I voted for it, everybody in between voted for it. And what I would say is the reason is: these are not normal times.”
“This crisis is extraordinary,” he continued. “The health crisis is extraordinary. People are scared. We’ve got a global pandemic. But not only the health crisis, but the response to the health crisis has created an economic disaster that is unfolding. There are millions of people losing their jobs. And in response to that devastation, everyone feels an urgency to provide relief.”
Cruz then noted that he does not refer to the $2.2 trillion package as a “stimulus bill,” but rather a “relief bill.” “It’s quite different,” he said. “It is designed to provide relief to people who are hurting badly — and are hurting through not fault of their own, they didn’t do anything to cause this.”
Cruz then unpacked what exactly is in the “monstrous bill,” including “individual relief”: Every American who makes under $100,000 a year will get a check from the federal government within two to three weeks ($1,200 per individual adult, $2,400 per for couples, and $500 per child).
Another major piece of the bill is $377 billion dedicated to help small businesses (most businesses with 500 employees or less) through emergency loans. These businesses can go and apply at local banks to receive a Small Business Administration (SBA) loan of up to $10 million. If the business uses the money for payroll, the loan obligation is forgiven.
“’That’s a direct lifeline to these small businesses that are profoundly hurting,” said Cruz.
Watch the full episode below or listen to it on Apple Podcasts here: