Republicans and Democrats alike were shocked to learn that Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, an avid conservative, was showing public support for progressive darling Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Twitter, as the two of them both stood up against the recent COVID-19 relief bill.
Both Cruz and Ocasio-Cortez agreed on one key issue of the stimulus package: they should have the time to read something before being forced to vote on it.
Ocasio-Cortez called it “absurd” that lawmakers were being rushed to vote, just hours after the 5,000+ page bill was delivered to them.
“Congress is expected to vote on the second largest bill in US history *today* – $2.5 trillion – and as of about 1pm, members don’t even have the legislative text of it yet,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted Monday.
“It’s not good enough to hear about what’s in the bill. Members of Congress need to see & read the bills we are expected to vote on,” she continued. “I know it’s ‘controversial’ & I get in trouble for sharing things like this, but the people of this country deserve to know. They deserve better.”
Cruz responded with support for the freshman congresswoman’s sentiment, going on to use the hashtag “#CongressIsBroken.”
“@AOC is right. It’s ABSURD to have a $2.5 trillion spending bill negotiated in secret and then—hours later—demand an up-or-down vote on a bill nobody has had time to read,” he said.
.@AOC is right.
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) December 21, 2020
Shock and frustration emanated from Republicans, particularly, after Congressional leaders announced on Sunday that they had reached a deal on the stimulus package that was billed as a way of fending off COVID-19 financial hardships.
However, the package contained a lot of what is referred to as “pork,” in the form of hundreds of billions in aid for various unwarranted causes that the American people wouldn’t support congress allocating funds for if the bills were brought up separately.
Vote on the bill was slated for Monday after the president negotiated an increase in funding for individuals.
Twitter sounded off about the exchange between the pair and their concern with the short time they had to read the monumental bill.
“Ted Cruz & AOC agree on something. What a way to end 2020,” said one user. “That had to be a tough pill to swallow agreeing with A.O.C.” said another.
Others were delighted that Cruz and Ocasio-Cortez were willing to set their differences aside to speak up for something they considered wrong:
“It’s nice to see that people on both sides still agree on the issues facing our nation, and I agree wholeheartedly with @RepAOC‘s statement Cruz mentioned here, if they don’t have time to read it, then vote NO.”
Another was astonished with themselves saying “Wow…I’ve never agreed with her on much of anything, but yes, @AOC & you are absolutely right! Vote it down!” Other comments continued on that vein:
“Yes I can agree with her on this one! I think just about everyone else feels the same way!”
“FINALLY have some ‘common ground’… by using good ole ‘common sense’!”
“Would be outright RIDICULOUS to agree, without ‘thoroughly’ being able to read it!”
One reply showed their surprise over their agreement with Cruz as proof that congress was “broken.”
“Did I just agree with Ted in something?? This is three times in recent memory. Congress is definitely broken as a whole.”
One commenter, however, had a theory about why a bill with so much international “pork” was being pushed through in a bipartisan effort to get a monstrous bill rammed through:
“I know why we’re giving all that money away to other countries. Do you?
“(Hint: a lot of it is coming back, but not to the taxpayers who were forced to fork it over).”
Regardless of this bill, who agrees with whom and who will benefit the most, it seems to be one of the first bipartisan agreements in recent history that representatives close to their constituents consider this to be a backhanded and inauthentic way to run the government.
Representatives can’t be held responsible for voting (or not voting) for a bill when they don’t even have the chance to understand what they’re voting on.
Have the official version of the omnibus bill now. My bootleg copy was just over 3,000 pages. The official bill is 5,600.
— Morgan Griffith (@RepMGriffith) December 21, 2020
Looks like this is going to be another ”we have to pass the bill to find out what’s in it” kind of vote. https://t.co/nVsVrlggHl
— Congressman Ken Buck (@RepKenBuck) December 21, 2020