‘What did you do?’: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez clashes with Marco Rubio on Twitter over PPP loan data

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'What did you do?': Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez clashes with Marco Rubio on Twitter over PPP loan data

  • Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s tweeted about Project Veritas’ high PPP loan and the inequities of government relief during the pandemic, calling it “Republicanism in a nutshell.”
  • Sen. Marco Rubio told Ocasio-Cortez to “work more, tweet less.”
  • Ocasio-Cortez responded with a list of the district and federal initiatives she took part in this week and asked Rubio, “What did you do?”
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and GOP Sen. Marco Rubio duked it out on Twitter on Thursday. 

Ocasio-Cortez tweeted about new data released by the Small Business Administration about Paycheck Protection Program loans over $150,000 that the government awarded to businesses as part of COVID-19 relief.

In her original tweet, she quote-tweeted NBC News journalist Olivia Solon, who pointed out that Project Veritas, the right-wing disinformation sting-op organization, had received $558,900. 

The data was released after a months-long court battle that resulted in the Trump administration having to release information about organizations that received PPP loans over $150,000. NBC News also reported that Trump and Kushner real estate properties received over 25 PPP loans worth more than $3.65 million.

Ocasio-Cortez tweeted, “Black-owned small businesses were widely shut out from accessing PPP loans, yet right-wing disinfo org PV took half a million in public money while decrying direct federal assistance as ‘radical socialism,'” adding, “Republicanism in a nutshell.”

 

Sen. Marco Rubio replied and quote-tweeted Ocasio-Cortez, saying, “Working together R’s & D’s helped save the jobs of 55 million Americans through PPP. Work more, tweet less & one day you too can make a difference.”

This tweet may have been in reference to the fact that Ocasio-Cortez voted “no” on the initial CARES Act stimulus bill in March, saying at the time that it was structured to help those who needed it. Congress has not been able to agree on an additional stimulus bill, though specific aid and funds have since lapsed. A new $908 billion compromise stimulus bill is gaining traction with congressional leaders — the bill lacks additional stimulus checks for Americans.

Rep. Ocasio-Cortez hit back, saying, “Yesterday I recruited 5,000 volunteers to train and tutor kids in my community who are struggling with remote learning, and that was after investigating the Treasury Secretary’s rationale for stopping CARES Act funding and voting on House legislation. What did you do?”

Ocasio-Cortez mentioned her Homework Helpers drive to recruit tutoring volunteers in her district, as well as yesterday’s hearing with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, where representatives grilled him about his plan to end federal lending programs enabled through the passage of the CARES Act in March, at the start of the pandemic. 

After Rubio posted no immediate retort, Ocasio-Cortez tweeted, “The thing that these conservative Senators don’t seem to understand is that I’ve actually had a physically difficult working-class job without good healthcare most of my adult life. I bring that work ethic to Congress & to my community. They sit around on leather chairs all day.”

 

A few minutes later, Ocasio-Cortez dug deeper into her conservative critics, “Republicans like to make fun of the fact that I used to be a waitress, but we all know if they ever had to do a double they’d be the ones found crying in the walk-in fridge halfway through their first shift bc someone yelled at them for bringing seltzer when they wanted sparkling.”

Senator Marco Rubio’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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