Tennessee GOP Senator Says There's Not Enough Money to Help Everyone During Pandemic, Disappointed in Trump Over Obamacare Lawsuit

Tennessee Senator Lamar Alexander warned on Sunday that Congress can't possibly appropriate enough money to help every American negatively affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

The Republican senator said the only solution moving forward is to "test, trace, isolate, treatments and vaccines" during a Sunday interview with NBC News' Meet the Press. Alexander said states have to start letting people go back to work and for businesses to reopen as soon as possible in order to finally offset the economic damage of COVID-19.

He repeatedly stressed that Congress or the federal government simply can't provide enough money to help every American impacted by coronavirus. "There's not enough money to help everybody hurt when you shut down the government," he said.

"We have to let people go back to work and earn a living," Alexander said. "And I don't see us being able to appropriate much more money to help provide a counter to that."

Congress passed a more than $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus bill in March which included direct deposits to millions of Americans in addition to setting up aid for businesses which were forced to close. The U.S. death toll from the coronavirus as of Sunday morning sits at 79,700, with more than 1.3 million cases having been confirmed nationwide.

Earlier on Sunday, White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett told CBS News he expects the country's unemployment rate to surpass 20 percent by the beginning of June. Labor data released last week found the U.S. economy has already lost 20.5 million jobs in April, putting the country at a curretn 14.7 unemployment rate.

Alexander said the U.S. needs a "breakthrough" in terms of vaccine and he cast doubt on the Trump administration's stated goal of coming up with 100 million vaccine doses by September. "[I have] no idea if we can reach that," he said.

During the interview with Todd, the senator addressed the Trump administration moving this past week to move ahead with a lawsuit aimed at ending "Obamacare" amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

"Are you disappointed that the president decided to go ahead with the Obamacare lawsuit?" Todd asked Alexander. "If you undo Obamacare, what's the plan to replace it?"

"Well, the answer to your question is yes," the senator responded. "I thought the Justice Department argument was really flimsy. I mean, what they're arguing is that when we voted to get rid of the individual mandate, we voted to get rid of Obamacare. I don't know one single senator that thought that."

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Tennessee Senator Lamar Alexander warned on Sunday that Congress can't possibly appropriate enough money to help every American negatively affected by the coronavirus pandemic. ANDREW HARNIK - Pool/Getty Images
Tennessee GOP Senator Says There's Not Enough Money to Help Everyone During Pandemic, Disappointed in Trump Over Obamacare Lawsuit | News
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