Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenHillicon Valley: Biden calls on Facebook to change political speech rules | Dems demand hearings after Georgia election chaos | Microsoft stops selling facial recognition tech to police Trump finalizing executive order calling on police to use ‘force with compassion’ The Hill’s Campaign Report: Biden campaign goes on offensive against Facebook MORE took aim at the coronavirus stimulus packages in an interview with Politico, calling corporate America “greedy as hell.”
The presumptive Democratic nominee also said the next package should be “a hell of a lot bigger” and include aid to cities and states to avert layoffs of teachers, police officers and firefighters. The most recent package, passed by Congress last week, excluded city and state aid. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote GOP senator to try to reverse requirement that Pentagon remove Confederate names from bases No, ‘blue states’ do not bail out ‘red states’ MORE (R-Ky.) has suggested states should instead be allowed to declare bankruptcy.
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Of major banks and corporations, Biden said “this is the second time we’ve bailed their asses out,” saying big banks like Wells Fargo are “only alive because of the American taxpayer.”
Biden contrasted the oversight of the stimulus package signed under then-President Obama in 2009 with oversight of the 2020 CARES Act and criticized President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote Warren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases Esper orders ‘After Action Review’ of National Guard’s role in protests MORE’s removal of the Pentagon inspector general who had been named to oversee the CARES Act funds.
In 2009, “I wanted to bring in the toughest son-of-a-bitch in the country—I really mean it, I’m not joking—because we wanted to make sure we did it by the numbers with genuine oversight,” Biden told Politico.
“Right now, there’s no oversight,” he added. “[Trump] made it real clear he doesn’t have any damn interest in being checked. The last thing he wants is anyone watching that $500 billion going to corporate America, for God’s sake.”
Biden also pointed to what he said was his frequent contact with governors and mayors throughout the country in 2009 to monitor their spending of the funds. “There’s no coordination. There’s no accountability. Come on, the guy waits to hold up money because he wants to make sure his name is on the checks!” Biden said.
Despite Biden’s criticism of the bills, he refrained from directly criticizing Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiTrump on collision course with Congress over bases with Confederate names Black lawmakers unveil bill to remove Confederate statues from Capitol Pelosi: Georgia primary ‘disgrace’ could preview an election debacle in November MORE (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck SchumerChuck SchumerOvernight Health Care: US showing signs of retreat in battle against COVID-19 | Regeneron begins clinical trials of potential coronavirus antibody treatment | CMS warns nursing homes against seizing residents’ stimulus checks Schumer requests briefing with White House coronavirus task force as cases rise Schumer on Trump’s tweet about 75-year-old protester: He ‘should go back to hiding in the bunker’ MORE (D-N.Y.).
“They got what they could get,” he told Politico. “I’ve been in too many negotiations to second-guess anybody else’s.”