The bill’s namesake Richard “Matt” Torres, a roller coaster enthusiast based out of Oregon, was initially hesitant after he was selected to take the fall on behalf of his country, but eventually came around to the idea, especially after his business took a hit when the COVID-19 pandemic came into full swing.
“You know, the whole, like, journey I took in those three days between being selected and coming to terms with it — that journey was one I am proud of and can honestly say ‘yeah, I’m making a difference.’” It is unclear what “journey” Torres went on since the interview for this article took place only a day after he was selected.
In any case, much of the American electorate is satisfied with Torres’s gumption. A New York Times/Siena poll shows 43% of Americans support him, 30% saying they “would have been honored to serve in his place, but had an appointment that day” and 27% unsure of what was happening at all.
The new law, which passed the House of Representatives in February, faced a lukewarm reception in the Senate, where some Republican senators denounced the bill as taking away one of their key talking points in election years.
“They know that one of the things that really gets our base going is the national debt,” said Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri at a press conference referring to House and Senate Democrats, “If they are able to pass this bill, they will ruin conservative chances at the election by stifling our freedom of speech to rant about a debt problem we helped create.” He added later, “It’s just another way the commie leftists are attempting to rig elections.”
Opposition also came from the left, with Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont worried the guy killed would be of working or middle class and not a millionaire or billionaire.
“The American people are tired of this assault on the working class. Too often this country has been lenient on those making extravagant sums of money while the workers suffer a Hunger Games-style lottery to determine whose sweet release of death will pay off this debt!” yelled Sen. Sanders on the Senate floor. He concluded his speech by remarking, “It’s time we take action and ensure the top one percent of the top one percent of the top one percent pays their fair share.”
Despite this resistance, the bill passed in the Senate 71-29. Forty-one Democrats were joined by 30 Republicans in passing the landmark legislation, sending it to Biden’s desk for his consideration.
Although Biden has not commented certainly on whether he would approve the legislation, he has stated in the past he wants to work on issues that take bold action and bring both Democrats and Republicans together.
He gave a near-endorsement of the bill while speaking to a reporter in the Rose Garden after he accidentally locked himself out of the Oval Office and was waiting for an attendant to unlock the door saying, “Listen, Jack, back when I was in the Senate we had a romanticized view of how things worked, okay? You’ve got to realize that nothing makes Congress come together as a stronger force than when specific Americans can be made to needlessly suffer, and this legislation seems to be doing just that. Now, just answer me this, are you the locksmith?”
In any case, both chambers passed the THANKS Matt Act with veto-proof majorities, and it’s all but certain to be enacted. The transfer of debt to Torres will take place on July 4th with a small ceremony on the National Mall, wherein a 5G tower will be felled on top of him. Along with the in-person celebrations, the event will be live-streamed on YouTube over the White House official YouTube channel.