During a call with with the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) on Friday, former Vice President Joe Biden called Senate Republicans “so damn stupid” for not passing House Democrats’ $3 trillion coronavirus relief bill, The Hill reported.
“The Republican Senate needs to do its job and pass the HEROES Act,” Biden said, referring to the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions Act passed by the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives.
“It passed through the House. Get state and local governments the funding they need to keep millions of people on the job,” Biden continued.
“Because, here’s the — they’re so damn stupid, darn stupid. If you don’t have people on the job dealing with controlling the virus, then it’s just going to get worse.”
The Democrats’ bill would have provided economic relief for workers, local governments and businesses. It would have also authorized hazard pay for healthcare workers, expanded Medicare and Medicaid, protected renters and homeowners, tackled the student debt crisis and provided financial assistance for farmers.
Biden said that towns “cannot deficit spend,” which is why the bill should have passed both chambers.
“The only operation in the world that can do that is the federal government,” the Democratic Party’s presidential nominee explained, before taking a shot at Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
In March, the United States Congress passed the bipartisan $2.2 trillion CARES (The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) Act, with each state receiving at least $1.25 billion in financial aid.
However, McConnell has vocally opposed additional stimulus measures, pushing back against Democratic suggestions that more robust economic relief is necessary amid the coronavirus pandemic. The top Republican has also argued that states could declare bankruptcy.
“My God, what is going on here?” Biden said, noting that neither the White House nor the Senate have supported additional funding for state and local governments.
The Democrat also slammed President Donald Trump.
“This is almost criminal the way in which he’s handled this,” he said of Trump’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Trump and Republicans’ refusal to offer additional relief to states, workers and businesses appears to have had an impact on the GOP’s electoral prospects. Per a Gallup poll released earlier this week, Trump’s approval rating has dropped to 39 percent, which means it’s at its lowest point since October last year.
Similarly, a CNN poll released on Monday showed that 57 percent of Americans disapprove of Trump’s job performance. The survey also put Biden 14 points ahead of Trump nationwide.