Sen. Ted Cruz on Tuesday dismissed Senate Republicans’ newly unveiled coronavirus relief package and predicted it will get “worse” now that negotiations with Democrats are getting underway.
“I certainly hope that bill doesn’t pass. I think it is a very, very bad idea,” Mr. Cruz, Texas Republican, said on Fox News.
He cited an ever-increasing national debt and said the focus should be on getting people back to work through mechanisms like cutting taxes and lifting regulations.
“Too many Republicans are joining with the Democrats essentially in Democrat-Lite,” he said. “A trillion dollars is a whole lot of money especially because it doesn’t solve the problem.”
Mr. Cruz said GOP leadership is prepared to make the bill “even worse” in the coming days.
“Democrats want to shovel cash – trillions of dollars largely going to their friends; that’s what Nancy Pelosi wants,” he said. “I think the bill leadership rolled out will only get worse and worse and worse – it’s a mistake.”
Senate Republicans rolled out a $1 trillion package on Monday that would reduce a $600-per-week boost in federal unemployment benefits to $200 until states could pay the unemployed about 70% of their lost wages.
The current benefits expire at the end of the month.
It also includes another round of direct payments for millions of Americans, $105 billion for schools, $36 billion for coronavirus testing, tracing, and vaccine development, and more money for the Paycheck Protection Program to help small businesses make payroll.
House Democrats have pushed a $3 trillion-plus package they passed in May that extends the full $600-per-week benefits through January and includes billions of additional dollars for states and localities.