Sen. Rand Paul Wednesday said he hopes President Donald Trump follows through with his threat to refuse to sign the $892 billion coronavirus relief bill, but he does part ways with Trump’s demand to raise the amount of financial help from $600 a person to $2,000 each, because it’s a “really foolish, egg-headed, left-wing socialist idea to pass out free money to people.”
“The only way I would vote for any spending or any additional spending is if it came out of existing spending, so if they want to cut the $30 billion we shovel and send overseas, I’m happy to vote for that and we can discuss where we can spend it here in our country,” the Kentucky Republican said on Fox News’ “Fox and Friends.”
Trump on Tuesday threatened that he wouldn’t sign an $892 billion coronavirus relief bill that includes the $600 stimulus checks, saying the bipartisan measure should be amended to increase the amount.
Meanwhile, the government’s operations are being funded on a temporary basis through Dec. 28 while waiting for the $1.4 trillion in federal spending for fiscal year 2021 that is also part of the bill.
Paul said he doesn’t agree with the stimulus payments at all because there are other ways to help Americans who need the assistance.
“My kids are working and don’t need a check,” said Paul. “They aren’t rich but they don’t need a check and most Americans don’t need a check right now.”
Instead, the unemployed should be helped by extending the time for unemployment payments, said Paul.
He pointed to President Barack Obama, noting that he didn’t “juice up” unemployment in 2008, but extended it.
“We’ve done a lot of terrible ideas that are much worse than what we criticized President Obama for,” said Paul. “[He] is now a conservative when it comes to stimulus.”
Paul also said he doesn’t think stripping large amounts of money from overseas spending or other agenda items will ultimately leave money in Americans’ pockets.
“They never take away wasteful spending,” said Paul. “They only add more to it. The only way we recover this economy is we got to open the economy up.”