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GOP attacks on Biden's virus relief plan are failing miserably

A new poll shows 76% of registered voters support President Joe Biden’s coronavirus relief bill.

By Emily Singer - February 25, 2021
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President Joe Biden

The Republican attempt to gin up opposition to President Joe Biden’s coronavirus relief package is not working, recent polling shows, with the bill remaining overwhelmingly popular among Democrats, independents, and even Republicans.

A Politico/Morning Consult poll released on Tuesday found 76% of registered voters support the $1.9 trillion package that Biden and Democrats are pushing toward passage. That tally includes 60% of Republicans.

The poll comes as Republicans have smeared the legislation, which provides another round of generous relief to Americans struggling in the pandemic-fueled economic downturn, as “radical.”

And they’ve falsely said the package is not focused on the pandemic, even though the funding is meant to help stave off the economic impacts of the pandemic on workers, families, businesses, and state and local governments.

Others have cherry-picked funding in the bill to justify their opposition — only to be reminded that the funding they oppose will help struggling industries and groups.

Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) tweeted what she called “Democrats’ ‘covid relief’ wishlist” in the form of a receipt for outlays from the bill, including $335 million for “Arts, Museums, and Library Services” and $112 million for “Pelosi’s Subway.”

By contrast, Mary Anne Carter, Donald Trump’s own chair of the National Endowment for the Arts, has said that the arts need support during the COVID-19 pandemic, and said when she resigned that she was proud of her efforts to expand support for the arts.

And libraries have been providing critical services to those without internet during the pandemic, including serving as locations where people can sign up for coronavirus vaccine appointments.

Ultimately, despite the fact that the bill is overwhelmingly popular — even among Republican voters — Republicans plan to vote en masse against the $1.9 trillion package.

That means Republicans are voting against another round of $1,400 checks to workers earning under a certain income threshold, more generous unemployment benefits, expanded food stamp allowances, and a raise in the federal minimum wage — all items that are popular among the electorate, according to a number of recent polls.

Because of the GOP opposition, Democrats are using budget reconciliation, a procedure that allows them to bypass Senate filibuster rules and allow the bill to pass with a simple majority of votes in the Senate. It’s the same process Republicans used to pass tax cuts for the rich in 2017.

Democrats are aiming to put the bill on Biden’s desk by March 14, when current unemployment benefits set by the last virus relief package expire.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.


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