ABC’s “Shark Tank” co-host Kevin O’Leary, also known as “Mr. Wonderful,” got into a heated debate Tuesday with Democratic New York Rep. Tom Suozzi over the amount of “wasteful” spending included in the $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package, which was on the way to President Joe Biden’s desk.
O’Leary debated with Suozzi, moderated by host Andrew Ross Sorkin, about the contents of the COVID-19 stimulus package. O’Leary called it a “horrible, horrible piece of legislation.”
President Joe Biden introduced his proposal for the relief package in January before taking office. It included billions of dollars in earmarks for various programs and local governments across the country. The Senate passed a version of the package on Saturday without some components being pushed by Democrats, such as an increase in the minimum wage. The final package will have to pass the House before it can be signed into law. (RELATED: ‘The Swamp Is Back’: Rep. Kevin McCarthy Hammers Democrats’ ‘Expensive’ And ‘Expansive’ Relief Bill Proposals)
O’Leary began on the segment, which took place on CNBC’s “Squawk Box,” by pointing out the high amount of spending allocated towards “non-Covid” related items in the package, such as infrastructure spending, and noted that it was “just full of waste.”
The host probed Suozzi, who supported the bill, about what dollar value could be attributed to the waste.
“There’s no question there’s some waste in there,” the congressman replied. “It’s less than $100 billion of waste, far less than $100 billion. It’s a false narrative that there’s waste throughout this bill.”
Suozzi then explained that “80% of the people” support the package, and that it will have a positive impact on a “tremendous” amount of people “that are hurting.”
“I respect that you serve the country and I really respect what you do. But it doesn’t give you a license to waste money. This is so wasteful,” O’Leary said, referring to about $135 million the bill allocated for museums. (RELATED: ‘Hang On, Bill!’: Fox News’ Juan Williams And Bill Hemmer Engage In Heated Debate Over Coronavirus Relief Bill)
Many museums were hit with dire financial problems during the pandemic. Suozzi said that museums were essential to save as they were the backbone of our culture.
“All you have to do is vaccinate people, they could go to museums. This is nuts,” O’ Leary said.