Most agree that the Senate bill for coronavirus relief is necessary in order to aid the U.S. economy. The bill recently passed in the Senate unanimously.
When you get down to the text of the bill, however, there appear to be items included that have nothing to do with coronavirus or the economy. In fact, many of the questionable items read like a progressive wishlist.
One of the spending provisions in the bill allocates $350 million for migrants and refugees. Representative Matt Gaetz of Florida rightfully questioned the inclusion of this in the bill.
Representative Ilhan Omar wasn’t having it.
Check out her tweet in response to Gaetz below:
The Washington Examiner reports this on Omar and Gaetz's exchange:
Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz clashed with Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar on Twitter over $350 million in funding for refugees and migrants in the coronavirus relief package making its way through Congress.
“Millions of Americans need help now. Dangerous poison pills like $350,000,000 for ‘Migration and Refugee Assistance’ put America LAST. Democrats: This is not the time to advance your legislative agenda. This is the time to put #AmericaFirst," Gaetz tweeted on Wednesday.
Omar took issue with the Florida congressman’s tweet, arguing that funding for large companies should cause more concern than funding for migrants and refugees.
“Immigrants and refugees, are Americans/pay taxes and as vulnerable communities need the resources ‘..to prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus,’” the Minnesota Democrat said. “Wonder why this upsets you more than a $500,000,000 billion corporate welfare fund for a select group of large companies?”
“Much of this money will be spent on illegal immigrants in the United States, and foreign migrants around the world,” Gaetz countered. “Neither of those groups are Americans. This does not belong in a relief package for American workers and businesses. #AmericaFirst.”
Democrats have been criticized by conservatives for measures in the coronavirus relief package that they claim are unrelated to immediate relief for citizens affected by the outbreak. This includes $25 million in funding for the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, which has been shut down because of the pandemic.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi defended Democratic additions to the bill, saying they were “all about the coronavirus.”
Ilhan Omar has also gone as far as calling for a "national lockdown" this week. What that would entail leaves many questions to be answered.
Omar has been quite clear, however, that in response to the coronavirus, the U.S. should immediately release all ICE detainees and halt all deportations.
How would this in anyway help contain the coronavirus epidemic?
Fox News has this to report on Omar's call-to-action:
Rep. Ilhan Omar on Thursday called for the Trump administration to issue a “national lockdown” in response to reports that the United States is now leading the world in confirmed coronavirus cases.
She also suggested that the country lacked a “functioning health care system.”
“Let’s add this to the list of things we shouldn’t be leading the world in,” the Minnesota Democrat tweeted.
She wrote that the Trump administration “desperately needed” to act.
The U.S. overtook China and Italy in confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, with more than 82,000 of them, according to numbers compiled by Johns Hopkins University researchers. That total comprises more than 14 percent of the world’s coronavirus infections.
New York state alone -- at almost 40,000 cases -- had more infections than every country besides the U.S., China, Italy, Spain and Germany.
Still, some analysts have called China’s reported statistics into question. Foreign affairs analyst Gordon Chang told Fox News: "For China, the truth has always been a casualty."
Worldwide coronavirus cases surpassed 520,000 Thursday, nearly doubling in a week.
Omar has made a number of controversial statements amid the global coronavirus pandemic.
On Tuesday, she called for freeing Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainees and prisoners being held on bail, as well as for the takeover of private hospitals. She also drew criticism for blasting Ivanka Trump last week when the president’s daughter shared a family-oriented tweet encouraging social isolation amid the outbreak.
And Omar sent letters to House leadership and the acting secretary of Homeland Security seeking a deportation freeze and more federal funding for refugees and migrants amid the pandemic.
Omar, a Somali refugee and one of the first Muslim women elected to Congress, is serving her first term.
Also, check out this video where Omar demands that ICE quit "terrorizing" people during the outbreak: