As Democrats and Republicans enter another day of negotiations on Capitol Hill as the deadline for a relief package approval looms, social media is fuming after it was revealed that the GOP's HEALS Act contains billions of dollars in funding for military weaponry. According to WUSA 9, the $1 trillion proposal includes an $8 billion weapons package, which was drafted by Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby.
This weapons package seeks to distribute the large sum of money across a number of different measures, with $2.2 billion going into Pentagon shipbuilding accounts. An additional $1.4 billion would go towards C-130 transport planes and F-35 fighters manufactured by Lockheed Martin Corp. Other funding would boost missile defense systems in California and Alaska. The $8 billion procurement package, according to the outlet, is part of a $29.4 billion defense portion of the HEALS Act. Meanwhile, CNN reports that some of this funding would go towards military programs that were cut by the Trump administration in order to pay for the border wall.
Given that the HEALS Act has already faced criticism among lawmakers for including provisions unrelated to COVID-19 relief – $1.75 billion are allocated to a new FBI building, $377 million to a West Wing restoration, and a business lunch deduction is also included – it comes as little surprise that social media was anything but thrilled at this latest detail about the package. As users learned of the provision, they took to Twitter to react, many slamming the decision to include such funding when millions of Americans are struggling to stay afloat amid the economic crisis.
$686,000,000 for fighter jets. Divide that by $600 and we could help 1,143,334 people with unemployment checks.
Almost as many people as live in Dallas, TX.
Should we help out a Dallas-sized group of Americans?
Or pay for fighters?— Yvonne Caruthers 🦦 (@resuitener) August 3, 2020
Hey Mnuchin! Remove the military weaponry and the $1.8 BILLION new FBI building funding from the stimulus bill! This is not needed during a pandemic. Help WE THE PEOPLE!— Donna Suresch (@donnasuresch) August 2, 2020
The GOP stimulus bill will restore to the Pentagon money trump stole for the wall . Let me get this straight. Our taxes don’t go to schools, healthcare, or to help the vulnerable but to the 1% & military. trump steals it and we pay more taxes to replace it while being evicted?— katherine ✌🏻❤️🎸🌎🧚🌺🌼🌸 (@katherineOma) July 28, 2020
This is a disgrace . Jets ? to fight the invisible threat .— maximus (@wolverines2727) August 3, 2020
One step below a fbi building
What the defense budget is just not enough?— qman1231 (@qman90420136) August 3, 2020
Fighter jets being notorious for their ability to combat viruses.— Nancy O. (@NancyOphoto) August 3, 2020
the coronavirus is mostly transmitted via airborne droplets so why can't we just bomb it out of the sky
... said Trump, probably https://t.co/UVwCXd3SBf— Fiddler (@cFidd) July 29, 2020
If they have $8 billion for this, why not money for safely reopening schools by adding staff, bus drivers, more space for distancing, PPE for students and staff, sanitizing equipment, and testing availability?— We Are SMRT (@wearesmrt) July 29, 2020
This is especially shameless, even by @SenateGOP standards. Unless Apache attack helicopters can improve our testing capacity or help struggling families, defense spending has no place in a COVID19 relief package.@senatemajldr: get your priorities right.https://t.co/nEJ0zoLs0J— Rep. Nadler (@RepJerryNadler) July 29, 2020
Republican ripoff of $8 BILLION for military weapons included in their Senate version of #COVID19 relief bill.
Taxpayers' money should go to PEOPLE in their time of need, not to Corporate shills!https://t.co/eEXq8oqpFR— Dr Kat Kain 🌊 #Biden2020 #DemCast (@CrayKain) July 29, 2020
$8 billion for military weaponry. $2 billion for FBI building, to help Trump ward off competition for Trump's Hotel.
Who exactly are Republicans trying to help?— Chidi®️ (@ChidiNwatu) July 29, 2020
$8,000,000,000 for defense contractors, but Republicans want to cut $400 a week in unemployment benefits—total hypocrisy.
A new fighter jet is not going to get us through this pandemic.
People need to buy food and pay bills—rent, electricity, car. https://t.co/UUN1GJdspL— Joaquin Castro (@JoaquinCastrotx) July 29, 2020
$8 Billion??? Man, that would sure be useful for PPE for teachers being forced back into schools, additional relief for those facing unemployment, increased testing and tracing strategies. I can think of 500 better ways to spend $8bil than on some new military jets. Smh. https://t.co/GdeQIA2Z25— Jeff (@JeffLaux4) July 29, 2020