“They did the trick. It’s called the Washington special, right? You put out a bill, you call it COVID relief, and people that are on their way to work, what they hear on the news is $1.9 trillion in COVID relief. And people are like, OK, that’s good because we need relief and $1.9 trillion is a lot of money and so forth. The problem is that’s not what the bill is,” Rubio, R-Fla., told “Fox & Friends.”
“That’s what the packaging is. But on the inside, it’s all kinds of other things,” Rubio said.
Senate Republicans are slamming what they call the “pricy partisan pet projects” and “Democratic wish list items” embedded in the coronavirus relief package, saying that “most of the $1.9 trillion” within the legislation has “absolutely nothing to do” with the pandemic.
Senate Republican Conference Vice-Chair Joni Ernst is leading a number of Senate GOP members who are expected to present the areas they’ve taken issue with on the Senate floor Tuesday afternoon.
House Democrats passed the nearly $2 trillion coronavirus relief bill on a mostly party-line vote over the weekend, sending the massive package to the Senate as lawmakers rush to provide a fresh round of aid before key unemployment programs expire. The Senate could move as soon as this week to pass its own version of the bill, which would look slightly different from the House proposal — most notably excluding the $15 minimum wage increase after the parliamentarian ruled that its inclusion violates budget rules.
Rubio said that he “is prepared to vote for more coronavirus relief.” He also said that senators should not be “punked and pressured” into voting for a bill that “is not what it says it is.”
“You know, ultimately, it aims to get money into the hands of Planned Parenthood. What does Planned Parenthood have to do with COVID?” Rubio said.
“This is not just about helping local governments that have been hit by the pandemic, it’s about bailing out some of these states. You know, the predator governor of New York, the disastrous governor in California, other places that were irresponsible even before the pandemic.”
Fox News’ Brooke Singman contributed to this report.