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Enormous, pork-laden COVID relief bill unites conservatives and progressives in anger

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These days, few things can unite us in these alleged “united” states.

But conservatives and progressives seem to have found common ground over the size of the COVID-19 relief bill that Congress adopted on Monday.

It’s not the $908-billion price tag that bothers them as much as the actual size. The bill clocked in at 5,593 pages, according to the Associated Press.

That led such disparate figures as Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York to lament the weight of actually having to consider something that could only be digested in several sittings.

“This is why Congress needs time to actually read this package before voting on it,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted on Monday.

“Members of Congress have not read this bill. It’s over 5000 pages, arrived at 2pm today, and we are told to expect a vote on it in 2 hours.” She added, “This isn’t governance. It’s hostage-taking.”

In a second tweet, she added, “And by the way, it’s not just members who need to see the bill ahead of time – YOU do. The PUBLIC needs to see these bills w enough time to contact their rep to let them know how they feel. Members are reeling right now bc they don’t have time to consult w/ their communities.”

Cruz responded with his own tweet: “@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,” the Texan added. “#CongressIsBroken.”

Cruz was referring to the fact that the coronavirus relief bill was coupled with another massive measure, the $1.4 trillion omnibus spending bill that was reportedly needed to avoid a government shutdown.

The leadership’s maneuvering also did not sit well with the pundit class.

In a broadcast of his show “The Young Turks,” progressive activist Cenk Uygur said on Monday the mammoth size of the bill and how it was “sprung” on lawmakers was a “small point.”

“If you get a 5,000-page bill plopped on your desk and they say you’re going to vote in two hours, that means there is no way in the world you and your entire staff could ever read it in that two hours. That means only leadership decided what’s in that bill,” he said.

“Both Republican and Democratic leadership don’t want them to read the bill, so they just push it right through, and if they don’t vote for it (they say,) ‘Aw, you guys are against getting people unemployment.’ That’s a trick, and it’s an important trick.”

On the other hand, conservative activist Candace Owens concurred.

“I 100% agree with @AOC on this one,” she tweeted. “This isn’t a stimulus bill, this is heist. Wealthy people are stealing tax dollars under the guise of COVID-19 relief. I implore AOC to ask her colleagues WHY the Smithsonian and the Kennedy Center need over a billion dollars of OUR money.”

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