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  • The US$484 billion relief bill is the fourth passed to address the coronavirus crisis.

    The US$484 billion relief bill is the fourth passed to address the coronavirus crisis. | Photo: Xinhua

Published 23 April 2020

"It is a joke when Republicans say that they have urgency around this bill," AOC said. "The only folks that they urgency around are Ruth's Chris Steakhouse and Shake Shack."

New federal legislation known as COVID 3.5, aimed at providing economic relief during the coronavirus pandemic was passed Thursday by the United States House of Representatives after the Senate approved it Tuesday. 

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The US$484 billion relief bill is the fourth passed to address the crisis, pushing the total spending response to around an unprecedented US$3 trillion. U.S. President Donald Trump said he will very soon sign it into law.

Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC), deeply criticized the bill and voted against it. 

She suggested that the Republican Party lawmakers are not doing anything other than serving the wealthy and corporate interests of large companies while they continue to fight against substantial economic proposals that would meet to the needs of working-class families, low-income people, small businesses, and all those who are paying the highest price to the pandemic.

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AOC said the bill does little to aid those struggling to make ends meet. She referenced large restaurant chains that will benefit disproportionately from the new package that includes over US$300 billion in additional funding for a flawed loan program for small businesses.

"It is a joke when Republicans say that they have urgency around this bill," she said. "The only folks that they urgency around are 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."

"If you had urgency, you would legislate like the rent was due on May 1st and make sure that we include rent and mortgage relief for our constituents," she added.

On Wednesday, various progressive groups sent a letter to Democratic lawmakers urging them to vote against the legislation, as it fails to put the needs of people, families, and Main Street businesses ahead of corporate interests.

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