Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) came under fire Monday for jokes he made about giving coronavirus relief payments to struggling Americans.
Cruz’s comments came in response to a tweet by Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), who suggested Congress prop up the faltering U.S. economy by sending every person in the country money until three months after the pandemic ends.
Give every person in our country $2000/month for the duration of the pandemic, $2000/month for 3 months after that, and $2000/month retroactive to March.— Ed Markey (@EdMarkey) August 10, 2020
Cruz sarcastically countered that Markey was thinking too small. (Some conservatives have argued, despite evidence to the contrary, that giving Americans money to survive when there aren’t enough jobs will make them lazy.)
Why be so cheap? Give everyone $1 million a day, every day, forever. And three soy lattes a day. And a foot massage.— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) August 10, 2020
We have a magic money tree — we should use it! https://t.co/0ODgPBhc4O
Markey wasn’t having it.
It's not a goddamn joke Ted. Millions of families are facing hunger, the threat of eviction, and the loss of their health care during a pandemic that is worsening every day. Get real. https://t.co/z6ygY8lSxc— Ed Markey (@EdMarkey) August 10, 2020
So far, Cruz hasn’t responded to Markey. Meanwhile, many other Twitter users chose to pounce on the Texas senator’s heartless response.
This is all a joke to Ted Cruz, who has no understanding what people in Texas are facing right now.— Julie Oliver (@JulieOliverTX) August 10, 2020
This level of contempt for the working class, for Texans losing everything -- facing eviction, children and families lacking food -- is a new low, even for him. https://t.co/oD40WVAKVZ
You’re awful. Families are suffering. Being evicted. Losing healthcare. And you sneer and mock them. What a heartless goon. https://t.co/JRlOd4Z8Ek— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) August 10, 2020
Elitist, Ivy-League Senator mocks suffering Americans during a pandemic and a recession https://t.co/HQvOpcVvfg— Jon Favreau (@jonfavs) August 10, 2020
Hey, @tedcruz! Before the pandemic 8 out of 10 people were living paycheck to paycheck, a life-event away from financial ruin. That means 8 out of 10 people are now IN financial ruin. SHAME ON YOU and the GOP. Stop bailing out the wealthy and bring relief to American families. https://t.co/58b2FY2NDy— Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa_Milano) August 10, 2020
Ted Cruz thinks your struggle to keep food on the table and a roof over your head is a joke. https://t.co/1G1tZPrNxb— James Kosur (@JamesKosur) August 10, 2020
This is absurd. Everyone should just marry a managing director at Goldman Sachs. https://t.co/N3CwiwiY3o— Schooley (@Rschooley) August 10, 2020
Others found Cruz’s remarks odd because they seemed to suggest that soy lattes are a rich person’s luxury.
funny thing is this idea that soy lattes are some elitist expense and not something you can buy literally anywhere in the country https://t.co/7OoEBiXdDi— b-boy bouiebaisse (@jbouie) August 10, 2020
Also, who do they think grows the soy? Trump-supporting farmers who received Trump bailouts. If drinking soy is so bad, why are we paying the soy farmers?— Walter Shaub (@waltshaub) August 10, 2020
This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.