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Senate Democrats will not say if they regret voting down Sen. Tom Cotton’s American Rescue Plan amendment barring convicted killers from collecting COVID-19 stimulus payments.
Fox News reached out to all 50 Democratic senatorial offices asking if the senators regretted voting down the Republican’s amendment after the Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev received a federal stimulus payment.
Only two senators’ offices, those of Sen. Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire and Catherine Cortez Masto of Nevada, responded to Fox News’ request for comment.
Sen. Maggie Hassan, D-N.H., on March 3, 2021, in Washington. (Shawn Thew/Pool via /AP)
They both dodged the question.
“Senator Hassan believes that the funds Tsarnaev received must be seized for victim restitution,” Hassan’s spokesperson Laura Epstein told Fox News in a Friday email. “She led the successful push in the Senate to help ensure that this could happen.”
Epstein also pointed to a report in The Hill detailing her push to allow the federal government to seize the stimulus payments from convicted criminals.
Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nev., on July 27, 2021.
(Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)
“Sen. Cortez Masto supports Treasury’s decision to allow states to seize any economic impact payments that went to violent criminals like Tsarnaev for victim restitution, including payments approved by the Republican Senate majority in 2020,” Josh Marcus-Blank, the Nevada senator’s spokesman, told Fox News.
Cotton put the Senate Democrats on full blast over the Tsarnaev controversy in a Friday email to Fox News, saying there was “no excuse” for their vote against his amendment.
“Every single Senate Democrat voted to send COVID relief payments to prisoners, including terrorists and mass murderers like the Boston Bomber, who received a check last year,” Cotton said.
“Democrats had the chance to do the right thing and vote against sending those checks. But they didn’t. There is no excuse for that — and now they’ll face the consequences,” he continued.
Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C, Oct. 27, 2021.
(Tasos Katopodis/Pool via REUTERS)
The Arkansas Republican also pointed to his tweet from the day of the amendment vote last year predicting the Boston Marathon bomber would receive federal stimulus payments.
Tsarnaev and other convicted killers had their paths cleared to pick up the taxpayer-funded paycheck when the Senate Democrats voted down Cotton’s amendment and passed the American Rescue Plan last year.
Tsarnaev has been ordered by prosecutors to return a $1,400 COVID-19 relief payment he received last summer along with other money sent to him, according to a court filing Wednesday.
The convicted killer so far has only paid $2,202.03 of the more than $101 million in restitution owed to his victims. The filing said the $1,400 in COVID-19 relief money should instead be used as restitution.
Tsarnaev was sentenced to death two years after the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, which left three people dead and hundreds hurt. The death sentence was overturned in 2020 after a court ruled that a trial judge erred by excluding some evidence. An appeal to reinstate his death sentence is before the U.S. Supreme Court.
Fox News’ Jessica Chasmar contributed reporting.
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