Louisiana Republican Sen. John Kennedy had strong words for his Senate colleagues on Monday as Democrats continued to block legislation aimed at providing economic relief amid the coronavirus outbreak, telling the upper chamber that the delay makes it look like the country "is being run by a bunch of idiots."
What are the details?
Speaking from the Senate floor, Sen. Kennedy said, "Do you know what the American people are thinking right now? They're thinking that the brain is an amazing organ. It starts working in a mother's womb, and it doesn't stop working until you get elected to Congress."
"Do you know what the American people are thinking right now, Mr. President?" Kennedy continued. "They're thinking that this country was founded by geniuses, but it's being run by a bunch of idiots. Do you know what the American people are thinking right now, Mr. President? They're thinking 'Why do the members of the United States Senate continue to double down on stupid?'"
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According to the Washington Examiner, "Kennedy explained that the legislation had been drafted in a bipartisan fashion with members of both parties adding snippets. The legislation included $2 trillion in cash for people, small businesses, and large corporations hardest hit by the coronavirus."
In his speech, the senator added, "I get politics. I have been around it my whole life. But there comes a time when we have to stop thinking about the next election and start thinking about the next generation. What are we going to leave to our children if we allow this economy to crash? And it is happening as we speak."
A bipartisan package had been negotiated over the weekend before Democrats voted against moving forward with the legislation on Sunday night and then again on Monday. While the Senate is controlled by Republicans, five GOP members were unable to appear to vote on the measure because of quarantines due to COVID-19.
Democrats are now pushing for unrelated agenda items to be included in the coronavirus relief bill, at the pressing of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Monday, "Here are some of the items on the Democratic wish list, over which they chose to block this legislation last night: Tax credits for solar energy and wind energy. Provisions to force employers to give special new treatment to big labor. And listen to this: New emission standards for the airlines. Are you kidding me? ... Democrats won't let us fund hospitals or save small businesses unless they get to dust off the Green New Deal."