A Republican Congressman from Texas was hit with social media backlash on Monday after insisting that $2,000 COVID-19 stimulus checks would not help the local economy.
Rep. Kevin Brady slammed the increased stimulus payment both before and after the House approved the measure by passing the Caring for Americans with Supplemental Help (CASH) Act by a vote of 275-134. Several prominent figures on Twitter responded harshly to comments Brady had made on the House floor earlier in the day, when he said the proposal “does nothing to help people get back to work,” along with similar comments he made in a tweet not long after the vote.
“Regrettably, the $2k ‘stimulus’ checks will do nothing to: help save Main Street biz, get 8 million jobless back to work, stimulate the local economy,” Brady tweeted on Monday.
“Kevin Brady says he opposes $2,000 checks because it would go toward people paying down credit card debt or making ‘new purchases online at Wal-Mart, Best Buy or Amazon,'” Huffington Post reporter Matt Fuller tweeted, inspiring a flurry of further responses. “Funny, how people spent money didn’t seem to be a huge concern when Republicans passed their tax cut bill.”
“How outraged was Kevin Brady when large corporations used the corporate tax cuts to buy back stocks? Not much,” tweeted Faiz Shakir, campaign manager for Sen. Bernie Sanders‘ 2020 Democratic presidential bid.
“So Kevin Brady is opposed to you buying the necessities to live from Amazon or Wal-Mart, but gave their CEOs and board members huge tax breaks to purchase yachts, houses & planes,” tweeted Russell Foster, a Democrat who lost a bid to represent Texas’ heavily Republican 4th Congressional District in November. “The GOP is against helping you get food. They’re too busy funding the 1% to buy boats for parades.”
“Out of curiosity, what does Kevin Brady think are proper uses for pandemic relief checks, lord knows I live to make Kevin Brady happy,” journalist Russ Bengtson tweeted.
“Kevin Brady wrote the bill that handed over billions of dollars to the CEOs of stores like Amazon & Walmart,” health care advocate Kendall Brown tweeted. “But he’ll be *damned* if you greedy normal people get $2000 to spend on necessities like groceries & diapers at those same exact retailers.”
“Cong Kevin Brady says he opposes $2,000 checks because people would pay down credit card debt and make “new purchases online at Wal-Mart, Best Buy or Amazon,'” writer TourÃ© tweeted. “I’m trying to find the bad part of paying down debt and buying stuff. Isn’t that what gov should want consumers to do?”
“Does … does Kevin Brady not know that there are food lines lasting for miles in most major cities and people need to pay rent?” tweeted television writer John Rogers. “Does the GOP actually not know what ‘the economy’ is? It’s people. The economy is people.”
Brady was one of the 130 House Republicans who voted against the CASH Act, along with two Democrats and two Independents. Another 44 Republicans joined Democrats to approve the boost to payments, which President Donald Trump had demanded last week. Despite the support of Trump and some Republicans, it is not clear whether the proposal will have enough GOP support to pass in the Senate.
Earlier in December, Brady was one of 126 GOP House members who signed onto a legal brief in support of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s failed Supreme Court lawsuit attempting to overturn President-elect Joe Biden‘s election victory over Trump.
Newsweek reached out to Brady’s office for comment.