Florida state Rep. Shevrin Jones (D) held another Coronavirus Tele-town hall this past Friday with special guest Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D). Rep. Jones’ effort was to update constituents about the state and federal government responses to the pandemic that has now killed 8,100 Americans nationwide.
Rep. Wasserman Schultz, who jokingly called herself “your self-appointed Jewish mother” and who also sits on the House Appropriations Committee, spoke plainly and without mincing her words.
“We’ve seen just how serious this virus is…We really need to make sure we respect this virus. This virus is a nightmare…It controls the timeline,” said Wasserman Schultz, adding that she nor any other politician can make the virus go away, and asked viewers and listeners to “head the social distancing guidelines.”
Wasserman Schultz, who had to venture out of her house to “deal with a medical issue” for someone else, said she was “astonished” of how many people were out and about, driving around in cars
“I had not been out of the house in a number of days, and it worries me that people aren’t taking this serious”, said Wasserman Schultz
“We are in the midst of a once in a century event. We are only at the beginning of feeling the force…”-Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz
Wasserman Schultz then took direct aim at Republicans.
With 4.4 million Americans having filed for unemployment and 6.6 million more expected to follow suit, Wasserman Schultz pointed to the recently discovered unemployment benefit shortcomings in Florida.
“Rick Scott, our former governor basically destroyed the system so he could improve his employment numbers,” said Wasserman Schultz before targeting current Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) by saying that he failed or refused to do anything about the benefits program in the two years that he has been in office.
“Gov. DeSantis, he’s been in office for a couple of years, he could have started to get this fixed, instead he left it in place the way it was.” – Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz
Unemployment benefits in the state are not retroactive, so those Floridians who have not been able to file for a claim and have been out of work, won’t be able to recuperate those benefits retroactively when they are able to get through the compromised unemployment benefits website.
Wasserman Schultz suggested to Rep. Jones that Gov. DeSantis needed to him and the entire Florida Legislature “back into special session and change things as it relates to Coronavirus.”
When asked if she and her colleagues in Congress were working on supplemental stimulus legislation, Wasserman Schultz said that the Democratic Caucus was already working on a fourth Stimulus, something Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (D) told The Floridian was already in the works.
Wasserman Schultz said that they (Democrats) wanted to make sure that the bill they draft will be “tied and tailored to what people’s needs are.”
Unfortunately, during that first phase of the Coronavirus relief effort that ushered in the $2 Trillion CARE Act, Speaker Nancy Pelosi tried to ram through several very questionable and non-Coronavirus-related funding measures like the $25 million grant to the Kennedy Center of Performing Arts.
Pelosi’s amendment was full of items that were not “tied and tailored to what people’s needs are.”
The Department of Treasury will be sending out the first batch of payments on April 13th.