Sen. Tim Scott (R., S.C.) on Tuesday criticized Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) and Senate Democrats for slowing down the progress on the coronavirus stimulus package for partisan reasons.
"For absolutely no reason, the speaker's passion for partisan hogwash started causing the type of delays that doesn't simply cripple our economy, but it imperils our health care response to people who are infected by the coronavirus," Scott said on the Senate floor.
"I honestly cannot believe we are still here not having already passed legislation that would make such a big difference in the lives of so many," he added. "Instead we had to waste time explaining to the speaker and to some of our friends on the other side that airline fuel emissions is not important in this legislation."
He took aim at Senate Democrats for attempting to include their policy preferences, such as same-day voter registration, early voting, and diversity initiatives in their version of the stimulus package. He said the debates should be had at other times, but not in a moment of crisis.
"We all should be interested in diversity, but let's not hold up assistance from families because some folks like the speaker want to use this legislation as a way to bring diversity to boards," Scott said. "Listen, that is not the place for this debate. This conversation should be a conversation about our health care workers, about those infected, about those impacted. Not about partisan political gains."
Senate Democrats defeated the initial stimulus package on Sunday in a procedural vote after Pelosi announced her desire to push her own stimulus package. Pelosi's stimulus bill was 1,100 pages long, featured a wealth of progressive agenda items, and mentioned "diversity" 32 times.