Democratic Hawaii Sen. Mazie Hirono claimed Friday that Republicans “don’t seem to give a rip” about the “millions” of people suffering due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Hirono appeared on “MSNBC Live” and was asked by host Ayman Mohyeldin about President Joe Biden’s attempts to pass a COVID-19 relief package through Congress. Mohyeldin began by playing a video clip of White House press secretary Jen Psaki at the daily press briefing answering a question on the package.
“Our view is that this bill should be bipartisan. 74% of the public support it and we want to work with Republicans on fighting COVID and putting the American people back to work. Our priority is on getting it through, not on the focus of what the parliamentary process is,” Psaki said in the clip.
Mohyeldin then asked Hirono how long Democrats should wait before trying to pass the bill “through reconciliation.” (RELATED: Rep. Dan Crenshaw: If Democrats Claim They Are ‘The Party Of The American Working Class’ They ‘Actually Have To Support Working’)
“Millions of people are suffering right now. They have been suffering since this pandemic. And Joe Biden is acting with a sense of urgency, which I share. The Democrats share that,” Hirono answered. “So this should not be held up for very long. And I would be perfectly happy to get something done next week.”
“Time is of the essence. People are facing evictions. People have to put food on the table. They have rents. Millions of people in our country are suffering,” Hirono continued. “I just don’t understand why the Republicans don’t seem to give a rip about that. Really? What is wrong with them as they embrace white supremacists and conspiracy theorists? That’s the Republican Party now. Pretty sad.”
Biden released his $1.9 trillion plan Jan. 14, which includes $2,000 stimulus checks and an extension in the enhanced unemployment benefits already in place. It also includes an increase in the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour. Some Republicans have expressed concern over the high cost of the bill, as well as the need to include the minimum wage increase, and would like to work with Democrats to put together a bipartisan bill.