WOW: Dems Demand Provision Allowing Prisoners 'Free' Video Calls In Relief Bill
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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has been forced to deal with so much crap from Democrats.
After weeks of stalling and political gridlock with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Democrats over Congress passing another round of coronavirus relief aid for Americans, McConnell just said he's canceling recess and lawmakers will not be skipping town.
Democrats are trying to slip in "liberal goodies" into the virus relief bill and Republicans are not having it.
On Thursday, more than a dozen Democrats wrote a letter demanding a provision in the relief package that would force taxpayers to foot the bill for prisoners to make free video calls.
A group of 17 Democrats penned a letter demanding that Senate leaders include a provision in the next coronavirus relief package to let prisoners make free video calls.
The Thursday letter detailed the exorbitant fees that can accompany phone calls and video calls from prison. A 15-minute, in-state phone call can cost an incarcerated person up to $25. Families of inmates disproportionately belong to minority racial groups and are more likely to be impoverished. The senators noted that one-third of such families admitted that they "went into debt in order to stay connected" with their loved ones.
"As it remains unclear when effective treatment or a vaccine will be available, ensuring that incarcerated people can stay connected with their loved ones while in-person visits are suspended is critical — but we must also support solutions to help keep families connected after the pandemic," the group wrote.
"Regular communication with loved ones has consistently proven to help incarcerated people succeed in re-entering the workforce after their release, and allowing them to stay connected will benefit them and their communities in the short and long term," they added.
The Examiner report continues:
The Federal Communications Commission announced on July 16 that it would be placing a price cap on interstate calls, but only 20% of calls made in prison are to out-of-state people. The FCC does not have the authority to regulate the price of calls made within states.
"As many facilities have suspended in-person visits and families face layoffs, furloughs, and evictions due to the pandemic, these calls are more necessary — and cost-prohibitive — than ever," the senators wrote. "Without action from Congress to address the rates for in-state calls, families will continue to suffer."
The letter was signed by Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Illinois Sen. Tammy Duckworth, New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, and Hawaii Sen. Brian Schatz, among others.
While many Americans have lost their businesses and are struggling to make ends meet, Democrats are fighting to make YOU -- the taxpayer -- foot the bill for prisoners to make "free" video calls.