Before the Senate voted to approve a $484 billion coronavirus relief bill, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) called for the reopening of the United States’ economy.
The Senate approved the bill on Tuesday by a voice vote, but Paul made his opposition to it known beforehand; however, he did not move to block the bill. He cited the “hardships” senators would go through to return to Washington, D.C. for a recorded vote.
“The one choice that will get our economy going again, reopening American commerce,” Paul said during a speech on the Senate floor on Tuesday night.
He continued, “I rise in opposition to spending $500 billion more. The virus bailouts have already cost over $2 trillion. Our annual deficit this year will approach $4 trillion. We can’t continue on this course. No amount of bailout dollars will stimulate an economy that is being strangled by quarantine.”
“It is not a lack of money that plagues us but a lack of commerce,” he added.
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After recovering from coronavirus, @RandPaul just dropped a bomb from the Senate floor:— Cliff Maloney (@LibertyCliff) April 21, 2020
"No amount of bailout dollars will stimulate an economy that is being strangled by quarantine. It is not a lack of money that plagues us but a lack of commerce." pic.twitter.com/tBB7qjmJGn
“The massive economic calamity we’re experiencing right now is caused by government. Passing out $1,200 checks indiscriminately to people who haven’t lost their jobs will do nothing to rescue the country,” Paul said, adding. “A recovery only comes when the quarantine has ended.”
Paul said noted that even with mitigation efforts, there would be deaths from the coronavirus, but he said, “We cannot indefinitely quarantine.”
However, public health experts and lawmakers have said that the U.S. needs increased testing capabilities to safely reopen the country.
While members of the Trump administration have said, they believe that several governors have said that claim is “absolutely false.”