Politics

‘Picking Weed Over The Workers’: McCarthy Hammers Dems Over Delayed COVID Relief

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Henry Rodgers Senior Congressional Correspondent
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House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy slammed House Democrats for prioritizing the legalization of marijuana over relief for COVID-19.

McCarthy criticized Democrats for continuing to block a Republican-led move to reconsider a coronavirus relief bill and for instead focusing on the legalization of marijuana and legislation addressing the trade and ownership of big cats featured in the Netflix show “Tiger King.”

“Thirty-eight times since the summer, the Democrats have voted against any COVID relief,” McCarthy said. “With all the challenges America has right now, we think COVID relief should be on the floor. But instead, the Democrats put cats and cannabis – this week they’re going to outlaw big tigers, and they’re going to legalize cannabis.”

The House will reportedly vote on a bill that would legalize marijuana and expunge prior criminal convictions related to marijuana as soon as Friday. The Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act, introduced by Vice President-elect Kamala Harris in 2019, would remove marijuana from the schedule of controlled substances under the Controlled Substances Act and eliminate criminal charges for anyone who “manufactures, distributes, or possesses marijuana.”

“They’re picking weed over the workers. They’re picking marijuana over the much-needed money we need to go forward, the small businesses that are closing,” McCarthy added. “I don’t understand the double standards of what we see from these Democratic leaders,” he added.

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“How many times did Speaker [Nancy] Pelosi tell us we would not leave Congress until we got some COVID relief bill? That was months ago,” McCarthy continued. (RELATED: House To Vote On Kamala Harris Bill Which Would Legalize Marijuana Next Week)

McCarthy sent a letter in late November to 23 House Democrats who signed a letter to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi in September threatening to sign a discharge petition if no larger deal on a coronavirus package was agreed to.

McCarthy’s office hand-delivered the letter Friday afternoon, first obtained by the Daily Caller, after Democrats in the House blocked a Republican-led move to reconsider a coronavirus relief bill Thursday. It was the 40th time Democrats blocked a package of Republican stimulus bills from passing the House. McCarthy’s letter asks the 23 Democrats to negotiate with Republicans in order to work out a bipartisan coronavirus package. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Kevin McCarthy Sends Letter To 23 House Democrats Who Threatened Pelosi If She Didn’t Get Bipartisan COVID Relief Deal)

In September, Democrats in the House introduced coronavirus stimulus legislation which includes the word “cannabis” 68 times, which is more than the word “job” or “jobs” by double digits.