AOC wants Americans to get paid to stay at home, blasts GOP for not doling out new pandemic relief package

The New York Congresswoman's words came as Vermont, which has a Republican governor, has considered giving the residents in self-quarantine $1,000 stipends


                            AOC wants Americans to get paid to stay at home, blasts GOP for not doling out new pandemic relief package
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (Getty Images)

New York Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez feels the federal government should provide paychecks to Americans to ensure that they stay at home in a bid to stop the dangerous spread of the coronavirus pandemic. In a series of tweets on Thursday, November 20, the progressive Democrat also slammed the opponent Republicans on the issue.

“To get the virus under control, we need to pay people to stay home,” Ocasio-Cortez or AOC as she is popularly called, said in a tweet. 



 

 

In another post, the 31-year-old firebrand leader targeted the GOP saying: “Republicans are mad at this when they literally just voted to do just this in March. The reason they’re opposed to it now is because last time they got a Wall Street bailout and this time all that’s left is helping working people, the disabled, the poor, etc.”



 

 

She was referring to the only stimulus check of $1,200 the Congress authorized in the early months of the pandemic and $600 in federal unemployment. But with no fresh package being provided and unemployment funds exhausting, people are forced to leave homes for work, raising the risk of more infections and deaths.

The US has seen more than 11 million positive cases for Covid-19 while the death toll has been more than 254,000 -- highest than any other country in the world. 

Hopes for a new and larger federal assistance for the people of the US were, however, reviving, CBS News reported on Thursday. President-elect Joe Biden called on the Congress to “come together and pass a Covid relief package”. For several people, who have lost their jobs or whose small businesses are facing financial hardships, lack of fresh government help has made life extremely difficult. Besides, the rising cases have also put a massive pressure on the public health infrastructure with hospitals struggling to accommodate new patients. 

According to the CBS report, while many analysts predict that lawmakers will set aside their differences and pass another stimulus bill, its size and timing still remain unclear. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who won his reelection this year, has said that he backs another package and noted in a press conference on November 4 that he would prefer an aid agreement passed before 2020 concludes. 

Vermont Governor Phil Scott (Getty Images)

 

In Vermont, meanwhile, Republican Governor Phil Scott recommended $1,000 stipends for residents who have been told to go to self-isolation. Sarah Clark of the Agency of Human Services told Vermont Public Radio: “I think it's designed to provide them with the financial stability so that if they can't go to work over that quarantine period, they are still receiving funds to support their livelihood.” Vermont has one of the lowest rates of Covid-19 infection in the country with only 151 cases per million. It has succeeded in making people observe social distancing to a great extent.

However, states like North Dakota and South Dakota -- which also have Republican governors and have been hot hard -- few measures have been implemented for they believe social distancing and mask-wearing are “personal responsibility”. 

Ilhan Omar echoes AOC

Minnesota Representative Ilhan Omar, who is also a member of the Squad like AOC, tweeted something similar on Thursday about Americans getting paychecks. In a tweet, she said: “We need to send every American a check until this crisis is over.”

 



 

 

Another Democrat and former presidential candidate Amdrew Yang, whose signature policy was the so-called Freedom Dividend -- a universal basic income of $1,000 per month to every American adult -- also expressed a similar thought to say: “If we ask you to stay home we should also send you money so you can can do so.”

 



 

 

In October, the Democratoc-controlled House passed a stimulus plan worth $2.2 trillion even as political sides struggled to arrive at consensus. But McConnell refused to back it as his caucus opposed spending trillions more on the federal response to the deadly pandemic. President Donald Trump signed a coronavirus relief bill of $2 trillion in March end as Washington aimed to minimize the impact the pandemic left on the economy because of widescale shutdown.