Hospitality industry workers are among the millions of Americans who will face a fiscal cliff this week when enhanced unemployment benefits expire. While debate raged around proposals (or lack thereof) to extend the benefits and save many from eviction, hunger, and other ills. Senator Ted Cruz took to the airwaves to let the country know where he stands—Cruz says no more $600 government subsidies for “waiters, waitresses, and busboys.”
During an appearance on CBS’ ‘Face the Nation,’ interviewer Margaret Brennan asked Cruz about the end of the popular program. Cruz first took his traditional shots at Democrats. Then, he signaled his opposition to any sort of unemployment supplement—especially for service industry workers—during this gem of an exchange.
MARGARET BRENNAN: But what specifically- but what specifically because in terms of the unemployment benefits, do you object to providing any kind or any amount of federal boosts to unemployment at this point? Because not everyone is choosing to be out of work. SEN. CRUZ: The policy that Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats are pushing adds an additional $600 a week of federal money to unemployment. We have the unemployment system, the system we have had-- MARGARET BRENNAN: Right, and McConnell and wants to take it down to 70% of prior wages. SEN. CRUZ: Except, the problem is, for 68% of people receiving it right now, they are being paid more on unemployment than they made in their job. And I'll tell you, I've spoken to small business owners all over the state of Texas who are trying to reopen and they're calling their- their waiters and waitresses,-- MARGARET BRENNAN: Yeah. SEN. CRUZ: --they're calling their busboys, and they won't come back. And, of course, they won't come back because the federal government is paying them, in some instances, twice as much money to stay home as-- MARGARET BRENNAN: But you're open to a lesser amount? SEN. CRUZ: I, look, I- what we ought to focus on, instead of just shoveling trillions out the door, we ought to be passing a recovery bill. Now, what's a recovery bill? A recovery bill would be lifting the taxes and the regulations that are hammering small businesses so that people can go back to work. A recovery bill-- MARGARET BRENNAN: Right. SEN. CRUZ: --would suspend the payroll tax, which would give it a- a pay raise to everyone in America who's working. That actually gets people back to work.
Cruz wasn’t finished. Before moving on to the topic of China, he also accused House Speaker Pelosi of blocking employment with the benefit package.
“You know, Nancy Pelosi talks about working men and women. What she’s proposing [an extension of the $600 UI supplement] is keeping working men and women from working,” Cruz whined. Mind you, the White House and Senate Majority Leader McConnell (R-KY) also favor some form of UI supplement.
The Republican firebrand made no mention of the tens thousands of bars and restaurants currently closed when contending that waiters et al didn’t want to return to work.
Cruz wasn’t done for the day. He used the rest of his Sunday to hop on Twitter and praise Hydrochloroquine as a COVID treatment despite overwhelming data from the scientific community that the drug does not treat the virus ad is often dangerous to patients.
Then, Cruz bemoaned the fate of a vandalized Starbucks, complaining, “This is terrorism. And even Starbucks isn’t woke enough.”