WASHINGTON – Today, Senate Democrats blocked an amendment introduced by U.S. Senators Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA), Tom Cotton (R-AR), and Ted Cruz (R-TX) to prohibit Economic Impact Payments (EIPs) to “any individual who is incarcerated in a Federal or State prison.” If adopted this amendment would have saved taxpayers approximately $1.9 billion.
“Prisoners do not pay taxes. Taxpayers pay for their every need. Inmates cannot stimulate the economy. But, under this bill they receive stimulus checks. This is a perfect example of nontargeted, inappropriate, and total waste of spending. It’s ridiculous that this is in the bill,” said Dr. Cassidy.
“COVID relief funding should go to hard-hit, law-abiding workers—not inmates serving their debt to society. Unfortunately, the Democrats would rather spend $2 billion on federal and state prisoners instead of American families,” said Senator Cotton.
“One of the clearest examples of how irresponsible the Democrats’ bill is the fact this bill prioritizes $1,400 relief payments to incarcerated felons – people who have not lost income because of COVID. The mismanaged priorities in this bill are detrimental to America and I was proud to join my colleagues in trying to close this egregious loophole,” said Senator Cruz.
In the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the first COVID relief package, which passed in March 2020, the $1200 EIPs went to every inmate in the U.S. At the last vote-a-rama, Cassidy introduced an identical amendment to prevent taxpayer dollars from going towards economic impact payments to prisoners.