'Criminal and Cruel': AOC Says 'Republicans Fled Senate' Leaving Americans 'Desperate' for Stimulus

Democratic Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York called Republicans "cruel" for adjourning the Senate without passing a stimulus package to assist Americans struggling financially amid the pandemic.

On Tuesday, Ocasio-Cortez visited Corona, Queens to distribute pantry boxes to working families most impacted by the pandemic. The Democrat criticized Republicans for the ongoing stimulus deadlock in a tweet on Thursday afternoon, alongside images of her distributing food.

"The whole country is desperate for a second stimulus, but Republicans fled the Senate the moment they got their anti-everybody justice confirmed," Ocasio-Cortez wrote. "Meanwhile our team is helping families pick up the pieces from federal neglect. It's criminal and cruel."

After confirming Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell adjourned the Senate until November 9 with Congress still deadlocked over coronavirus relief.

Another stimulus package probably won't come before Election Day but it could still happen before the end of 2020. The deadline to pass the next federal budget falls on December 11. Lawmakers must approve another spending bill by that date to avoid a government shutdown and Congress could seize on the window to approve relief and stimulus checks for Americans.

Since talks began in August, negotiators have failed to overcome differences to reach a bipartisan deal. Last week, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told Americans that Republicans and Democrats have made "good progress" in agreeing on policies to "crush the virus." She admitted that both sides of the political aisle still have differences but assured the country that they were "working through" them.

"We put pen to paper, we're writing the bill and hopefully we'll be able to resolve it," she said. "We could do that before the election if the president wants to. I think he does. I know we do. But we want this to be a bipartisan bill."

McConnell told Republicans colleagues earlier this month that he had warned the Trump administration against reaching a deal with Democrats before Election Day over fears that it would divide the party. Despite the warning, McConnell has committed to giving any bipartisan stimulus deal a vote on the Senate floor.

Both sides blame each other for the ongoing stalemate. Pelosi has accused Republicans of failing to provide sufficient funding to adequately address pandemic's effect on the economy, while the GOP have accused Democrats of using the coronavirus outbreak to further their political agenda.

Newsweek reached out to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for comment.

Ocasio-Cortez
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) speaks to members of the media during a food distribution event on October 27, 2020 in New York City. Michael M. Santiago/Getty