Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez (D-N.Y.) was the only House Democrat to vote against the most recent stimulus bill, which was primarily aimed at replenishing the program that grants loans to businesses hurt by COVID-19 lockdowns, according to Fox News.
The bill, which President Donald Trump has signed into law, had overwhelming bipartisan support — only four other lawmakers, all Republicans, voted against it, and one independent, Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan, voted present.
Ocasio-Cortez said the legislation favored larger companies too much, and did too little for states and the health care industry. She also wanted more direct aid for Americans who are struggling to make ends meet right now.
"It is a joke when Republicans say that they have urgency around this bill," Ocasio-Cortez said, Fox News reported. "The only folks that they have urgency around are folks like Ruth's Chris Steakhouse and Shake Shack. Those are the people getting assistance in this bill. You are not trying to fix this bill for mom and pops."
.@RepAOC @AOC: "It is a joke when Republicans say that they have urgency around this bill...you are not trying fix… https://t.co/IUsY8LTFY7— CSPAN (@CSPAN) 1587668175.0
Ocasio-Cortez was referencing recent news that while many small businesses were unable to get aid money before it ran out, larger companies such as Shake Shack got millions of dollars. Shake Shack returned the aid money it received to the government after backlash.
Ocasio-Cortez has made news recently for celebrating the oil crash and for suggesting that workers should refuse to return to their jobs if the economy is reopened too soon.
For many businesses, the additional funding had already been delayed far too long. The Payroll Protection Program ran out of money last week, and the House had not been in session since March 27. Senate Democrats blocked a stimulus bill two weeks ago in an attempt to get more of their priorities.
The $484 billion package will contribute about $310 billion to the Payroll Protection Program, $75 billion to health care providers to help compensate for lost revenue and pay for COVID-19 treatment, $60 billion to the Small Business Administration to fund aid programs, and $25 billion toward developing mass coronavirus testing.
A point of contention between Democrats and Republicans was whether to provide more aid to state and local governments, an idea Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) rejected while suggesting that states may need to file for bankruptcy.