Republican U.S. Sen. Tim Scott is facing major criticism for not voting on a $100 billion stimulus package to alleviate the economic impact of the coronavirus.
According to The Post and Courier, the Senate passed the measure with a 90-8 vote on Wednesday and sent it off to Donald Trump to sign the package.
The legislation provides a number of things including free coronavirus testing, paid sick leave to some displaced workers and expanded unemployment benefits. Scott, the junior senator from South Carolina, was one of eight Republicans who voted against the bill.
Scott released a statement after the vote saying the “well-meaning” legislation would have a “disastrous effect for South Carolina’s small businesses.”
Later on Wednesday night, he released an updated response, saying, “The provisions in the bill as it relates to paid leave place a mandate on small businesses without a corresponding immediate cash flow.”
He continued, “We all agree that paid leave needs to play a significant role in relief packages, but to mandate paid leave and then tell businesses they will get it back in a tax credit, is not a good path.”
Scott also said that the bill didn’t address the loss of revenue businesses are beginning to experience now, “instead imposing a new administrative and financial burden on them, with back-end assurances.”
He continued, “Creating a new obligation for struggling businesses and promising, through a complex system, to reimburse that new obligation on the back end creates yet another hurdle for businesses in desperate need of financial support.”
Scott said the next round of relief will have the goal of ensuring “immediate cash flow, instead of a tax credit with an unclear structure and timeline.”
The other Republican senators who voted against the bill were Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma, Mike Lee of Utah, Scott Lankford of Oklahoma, and Ben Sasse of Nebraska.
Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky was the most vocal opponent of the bill, urging members to halt the spending of money elsewhere in the budget so resources can be directed to the needs the virus has caused. He warned that printing or borrowing the money now could create a future in which people won’t be able to “borrow their way out of a crisis.”
South Carolina’s senior Republican senator, Lindsey Graham, voted for the bill.
With the passing of the bill, senators are now expected to work on “phase three” of coronavirus relief funding, which is expected to include assistance to families, as well as help for small businesses and major industries. Direct cash payments to Americans is one proposal being discussed in Washington.
Until the next phase, folks on social media were quick to slam Sen. Scott for his reluctance in taking immediate action in passing a stimulus package. Check out some of the criticism and outrage below.
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