Republican Senator Rand Paul defended his decision not to back a major economic relief bill over the weekend when it was presented to his legislative chamber.
In an op-ed with the Washington Examiner, Paul said the proposal would unfairly allow members of Congress to receive a $1,000 check per adult and $500 per child—a benefit he claims these individuals do not need.
“As a member of the Senate, I think it’s an abomination for the government to send checks to U.S. senators,” he wrote.
Paul argued the bill made the government carry an unnecessary economic burden when it dolled out money for others who do not need it, including members of his own family.
The Republican wrote: “My grown kids will also be eligible for checks. I have one son in college who will get a check, and I have two sons who now work and have not been laid off, who will get checks. My sons have friends who work in hotels and restaurants who are financially struggling right now. My sons do not want government checks. They want the money to go to the workers displaced by the COVID-19 virus quarantines and business closures.”
“My 89-year-old father-in-law, a proud veteran who lives on a military pension and Social Security, will get a check,” Paul continued. “He told me he’d rather an unemployed restaurant server get his check.”
He added: “My multimillionaire brother-in-law has many assets, but his annual income will make him and his children eligible for a check. He is passionately certain that he does not need a government check and instead wants that money to go to someone who is unemployed because of the pandemic.”
Paul called the spending “madness” and said it was unsound.
“In all seriousness, though, why in the world would we send checks to employed people?” he asked. “Why in the world would we send checks to wealthy people when others are struggling?”
The Kentucky Republican wrote off the bill as a “hasty” decision by the government and said it should be properly revisited so that only those “who have actually become unemployed” receive benefits.
He continued, per the Washington Examiner:
Instead of giving trillions of dollars to people not affected by the coronavirus-related quarantines and closures, why don’t we save the money for those who have actually become unemployed because of it?
As an alternative to the piñata-style bailout currently on the table, my plan would prioritize financial assistance for the most critically affected. It would expand unemployment benefits to allow immediate assistance for any worker who loses their job to the pandemic quarantine and would also expand unemployment insurance, temporarily, to self-employed workers who don’t normally pay into unemployment insurance. Additionally, my plan’s payroll tax holiday is for people who need it most, for those who make under $110,000 per household.
I am not, however, interested in voting for any monstrosity that explodes our nation’s debt so we can send checks to rich people or even not-so-rich people who haven’t lost their job. Every precious dollar that goes to someone who doesn’t desperately need it is a dollar that didn’t go to a struggling mother who just lost her job as a server at the local diner and doesn’t know how she’ll afford groceries for her children.
So, as the hysteria consumes Congress, count my family and me out. We don’t want your government checks. We simply want to help those displaced by the quarantine and support our country’s efforts to reestablish normalcy as the virus abates.