Democratic Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell says there’s a “difference” in how she and her Republican opponent will handle COVID-19 relief in Congress.
Mucarsel-Powell lays out the case in a new ad, called “When Crisis Hits.” The 30-second spot will air on English and Spanish television networks and is backed by a seven-figure buy, according to the Mucarsel-Powell campaign.
“There is a difference,” the ad’s narrator begins. “Debbie Mucarsel-Powell and Democrats fight for us. They passed a stimulus bill putting $1,200 in our pockets and made sure South Florida’s small businesses got loans. But Carlos Giménez gave himself a 67% pay raise. Yes, 67%. And the Republicans in Congress voted to let giant corporations hide their PPP loans. The difference is clear.”
The ad weaves in that claim about a pay raise for Giménez, the current Miami-Dade County Mayor, among other claims about the COVID-19 pandemic. To be clear, the 67% pay raise was finalized well before the COVID-19 outbreak. It kicked in all the way back in 2018. That raise also came after Giménez previously reduced his salary by 50% upon taking office.
Senate Republicans did vote against a bill which would have disclosed who received loans under the Payroll Protection Program (PPP). Republicans cited concerns that personal information for small business owners would be made public under such a proposal. The Donald Trump administration eventually released information for businesses that received $150,000 or more in PPP money.
Democrats have pushed Republicans to approve a new COVID-19 relief bill. So far, those talks have stalled, leading many to believe a new deal won’t be reached until after the Nov. 3 election.
“When the coronavirus crisis hit South Florida, I got to work and passed immediate financial relief for families and small businesses, and I’m still working in Congress to rebuild our local economy and create good jobs,” Mucarsel-Powell said in a statement released alongside the new ad.
“Carlos Giménez’s long record of corruption proves who he fights for, and if he is elected to Congress, he will continue to put himself first while following the Republican line in D.C., protecting special interests and large corporations instead of small businesses.”
Giménez is challenging Mucarsel-Powell for her seat in Florida’s 26th Congressional District. The new ad from the Democratic incumbent comes just one day after the Florida Democratic Party put out a digital ad criticizing the Mayor’s handling of the COVID-19 outbreak in Miami-Dade County.
The CD 26 contest is expected to be tight, with the outbreak featuring prominently going forward. Miami-Dade County has served as the epicenter of the pandemic in Florida, thanks in part to its large population and status as a tourist hub. Election forecasters currently see the race as a toss-up.