Rep. Jody Hice slams 'inexcusable' coronavirus relief bill, calls for reopening of economy

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Rep. Jody Hice, R-Ga., is criticizing the $900 billion coronavirus relief bill, saying the lack of time Congress had to review the bill was "unacceptable and inexcusable."

"It’s inexcusable," Hice told Trace Gallagher on "America’s Newsroom" Wednesday. "This is 5,600 pages that we did not have a chance to offer amendments [to], did not have a chance to debate, and did not even know what was in it until the last second."

"This process of ‘Vote on it and then find out what’s in it’ is unacceptable and inexcusable to place on the American people," he said.

Hice voted against the bill, which the House approved Monday by a 359-53 vote. The Senate then approved the bill, 91-6, Tuesday.

Hice agreed with President Trump’s calls for the reduction of unrelated provisions attached to the bill. Hice argued that reopening the economy would be the best way to get Americans hit hard by the pandemic back on their feet.

"I certainly agree that we need to get rid of the pork, but what we really need to do is reopen the economy," Hice said. "Even if we give a $2,000 check to people, that does not replace an income, a stable income for people."

"We have thousands of businesses going out of business simply because of fear of the pandemic," he added. "We have got to open the economy and discontinue this current path of going in debt, of bankrupting our companies, and giving a little bit of money that ultimately is not going to solve the problem."

President Trump’s call Tuesday night for Congress to raise coronavirus stimulus payments to Americans to $2,000 won raves from at least three of his harshest critics.

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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., and U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., all favored the president’s proposal for $2,000 direct payments over the $600 that Congress has suggested in its $900 billion plan.

In a video posted on Twitter, Trump slammed the COVID bill as a "disgrace," and assailed many individual line items in the 5,000-page plan approved by Congress – calling on lawmakers to amend the package, which requires the president’s signature to become law.

"It’s called the COVID relief bill but it has almost nothing to do with COVID," the president noted.

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