-- by Glenn Kessler, The Washington Post:
“Dylann Roof murdered nine people. He’s on federal death row. He’ll be getting a $1,400 stimulus check as part of the Democrats’ ‘COVID relief’ bill.”
— Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), in a tweet, March 6
“With this bill, they’re going to people in prison, they’re going to people who are illegal immigrants.”
— Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), in an interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” March 7
Every Senate bill that proceeds on a fast-track process known as reconciliation features a strange ritual called “vote-a-rama,” as lawmakers race through a number of votes on amendments. If you are in the minority, as Republicans are now, it’s a moment when you can offer finely tuned amendments that are destined to fail but will serve up red meat for voters in later elections.
These quotes are an example of this process in action, with Cotton tweeting a talking point just hours after the coronavirus stimulus bill was approved. Cotton isn’t shy about his intentions either. On March 8, he tweeted that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the Boston bomber, would also get benefits and declared, “Get ready for campaign ads.”
But for all the hype, there’s less to these claims than one might imagine — particularly because the previous stimulus bills passed last year under GOP control also did not bar payments to prisoners and the small subset of undocumented immigrants referenced by Barrasso.