Last week, Democrats passed the long-awaited pandemic relief bill after weeks of wrangling in Congress.
The $1.9 trillion package passed in the Senate this past Saturday and now heads to the Democratic-led House of Representatives once again for final approval before being signed into law by President Joe Biden.
In addition to preserving expanded unemployment benefits and allocating additional funds for vaccine rollouts, the highly popular legislation includes $1400 stimulus checks to most individual Americans, with increased funds for couples and those with children.
Every Republican Senator voted against the bill despite its popularity, and they're scrambling to come up with new attacks against it.
Such was the case with Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR), who slammed the bill for not excluding convicted criminals from relief checks.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the Boston Bomber, murdered three people and terrorized a city. He'll be getting a $1,400 stim… https://t.co/6TvWj6I4jN— Tom Cotton (@Tom Cotton) 1615059598.0
Dylann Roof murdered nine people. He's on federal death row. He'll be getting a $1,400 stimulus check as part of… https://t.co/fpunH9XBht— Tom Cotton (@Tom Cotton) 1615058962.0
How will sending stimulus checks to murderers and rapists in prison help solve the pandemic?— Tom Cotton (@Tom Cotton) 1615053767.0
Cotton failed to mention that prisoners were granted stimulus checks in both relief bills passed under the Trump administration, because these bills—like the one recently voted on by the Senate—didn't include language explicitly forbidding them from receiving the checks.
The IRS attempted to block prisoners from getting checks, but because the law didn't exclude them, a judge ruled the agency didn't have the legal authority to do so.
Nevertheless, Cotton voted in favor of the package both times.
He correctly pointed out that Democrats this time voted down a proposed Republican amendment that would've blocked checks from all incarcerated people, despite those in prison being uniquely susceptible to the highly contagious virus.
The Senator's claims were soon fact-checked by CNN's Daniel Dale.
Nope. Prisoners got checks from the Trump-signed, Cotton-backed CARES Act *because nothing in the law said prisoner… https://t.co/BTxYDYrj1P— Daniel Dale (@Daniel Dale) 1615227378.0
Cotton's moral high ground soon eroded.
Tom Cotton is a liar. But we already knew that. https://t.co/w84t3rmg94— Adam Parkhomenko (@Adam Parkhomenko) 1615227754.0
Well, looks like ol’ Tom got caught in yet another lie. Shocking to us all, I’m sure. #arpx https://t.co/AQGI49Aihm— Wiry Retiree (@Wiry Retiree) 1615228833.0
Tom Cotton couldn’t give an accurate fact if his life depended on it https://t.co/Aw5BQk54yc— Wiccan Space Laser (@Wiccan Space Laser) 1615227456.0
@TomCottonAR Please don't lie. If it was the intention not to send checks to prisoners, then the law should have s… https://t.co/fA8isOKAnr— Carrie Moley (@Carrie Moley) 1615228732.0
Spoilers: Tom Cotton is lying. Imagine that. https://t.co/9Du9Mvtstp— I’m Loki.... Just Not The One You’re Thinking Of. (@I’m Loki.... Just Not The One You’re Thinking Of.) 1615228540.0
Dale was far from the only one to push back against Cotton's latest talking point.
Senior Fox & Friends contributor Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) goes on the show to denounce "sending checks to prisoners"… https://t.co/arXfHFjwvE— Bobby Lewis (@Bobby Lewis) 1615207294.0
@TomCottonAR Tom Cotton voted for the CARES Act, which also gave stimulus checks to prisoners. Guess it was okay under Trump, huh?— Brian Tyler Cohen (@Brian Tyler Cohen) 1615076390.0
You remember how I said the Republicans were offering meaningless talking-point amendments they could use to incite… https://t.co/LsxuWo3t8S— 𝒩𝒶𝓂𝑒 𝓌𝒾𝓉𝒽𝒽𝑒𝓁𝒹 𝒷𝓎 𝓇𝑒𝓆𝓊𝑒𝓈𝓉 (@𝒩𝒶𝓂𝑒 𝓌𝒾𝓉𝒽𝒽𝑒𝓁𝒹 𝒷𝓎 𝓇𝑒𝓆𝓊𝑒𝓈𝓉) 1615157991.0
Oh we’re going to just wildly spin things? Ok let me give it a go: Tom Cotton voted to withhold stimulus checks to… https://t.co/dz5nrROAcu— the non-baseball account (@the non-baseball account) 1615139304.0
Democrats in Congress aim to have the bill on Biden's desk by March 14, just before expanded unemployment benefits expire.