Boston Marathon Bomber Eligible For Next Stimulus Check — Again

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If the U.S. Senate majority has its way, who will receive $1,400 stimulus checks from the federal government? U.S. citizens who earn less than $75,000 per year. 

This includes prisoners at the state and federal levels like murderers, rapists, and hard drug dealers. It also includes terrorists like Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokar Tsarnaev — as the first two rounds of stimulus checks would have:  the one for $1,200 and the next one for $600.

This time around, however, U.S. Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) was not happy about it and pointed it out on Twitter.

“Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the Boston Bomber, murdered three people and terrorized a city,” Cotton wrote. “He’ll be getting a $1,400 stimulus check as part of the Democrats’ ‘COVID relief’ bill.”

Yet, while Cotton is not happy that Tsarnaev would be eligible for a check under the $1.9 trillion stimulus package the U.S. Senate passed 50-49 last week, if Tsarnaev got a stimulus check either of the two previous times, then Cotton is part of the reason why.

Cotton voted in favor of the previous two stimulus packages that offered direct cash relief to middle-incomeand low-income Americans, as Fox News points out. There was no provision in those bills to prevent prisoners like Tsarnaev from receiving checks. Fellow Republican and former President Donald Trump signed those bills into law.

This time around, however, a trio of Republican senators — Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, and Ted Cruz of Texas — offered an amendment to the stimulus bill to block prisoners from receiving checks. It failed 49-50. The trio offered no such provisions the past two times when there was a Republican majority in the U.S. Senate.

U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-Illinois) opposed the amendment, arguing that it would harm the children of prisoners who would not receive the financial support, as Fox News points out. Tsarnaev does not have any known children.

Every Democrat in the Senate voted against the Cruz-Cassidy-Cotton amendment while every Republican except for U.S. Senator Dan Sullivan of Alaska voted in favor of it. Sullivan did not vote on the measure. Even if he did, however, Vice President Kamala Harris would have been the tie-breaking vote, and she most likely would have voted with her party on the matter.

It’s unclear why the three Republican senators did not offer such an amendment to the previous two packages.

A spokesperson for Senator Cruz sent NewBostonPost a statement by email on the matter.

“Throughout relief negotiations, Sen. Cruz’s has consistently urged his colleagues to stand with the law-abiding Americans who are eager to get back to work, get our students back to school, and reopen the American economy,” they wrote. “Sen. Cruz’s amendment blocking COVID relief checks for jailed felons was a commonsense and straightforward proposal to stop some of the Democrats’ partisan nonsense.”

A source familiar with the matter told NewBostonPost that after the second checks went out, Cruz and his colleagues were made aware through media reports that inmates were eligible to receive checks.

They also noted that former U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi etched out most of the details of the prior two bills, and Senate Republicans were not under the belief that either bill authorized checks to prison inmates when they voted on them.

The offices for Senators Cassidy and Cotton could not be reached for comment on Monday of this week.