President Biden’s COVID Relief Bill IS A Political Winner And Republicans Know It by Robert Covington Jr.
President Joe Biden seems to be aware that his first piece of major legislation, the 1.9 trillion-dollar COVID economic rescue bill will set the tone of his presidency. And given the contents of the bill, this masterfully put together piece of legislation can provide Biden with the leverage, political capital and confidence to aggressively pursue other major goals on his agenda.
As CNN reports, the bill provides hundreds of billions of dollars in direct checks of an additional $1400.00 per eligible adult, it would boost and extend unemployment aid to millions of Americans, assist low and moderate income households that are struggling with rental assistance, it would send hundreds of billions of dollars to state and local governments to fund essential services, billions for vaccine distribution, testing, PPE equipment and school funding. It also includes a 15% increase in food stamp benefits to help the poor, nutritional assistance, billions for small businesses, billions for child care, daycare providers and child tax credits, along with healthcare subsidies and restoration of the emergency family leave bill.
If it passes, it will likely go through reconciliation, which is a parliamentary process that limits a piece of legislation to financial and budgetary issues. Nevertheless, it is an amalgamation of sound fiscal policy, empathy, common sense and good politics. Millions of Americans in cities, suburbs and rural towns would feel immediate impact and the storylines of recovery, happiness, thankfulness and renewed hope would be in abundance for several months.
Faith in good governance would be enhanced and Biden and the Democrats can ride this momentum into the next big piece of legislation, which would likely be an infrastructure plan. And who knows, the good vibes may have a positive impact on wavering Democratic Senators like Joe Manchin and Krysten Sinema in abandoning the filibuster on non-financial legislation.
This bill is centered in goodness and compassion and it has human and political success written all over it. And this is exactly what the Republican Party are afraid of. The Republican Party, which is run by two of the worst Congressional leaders in history in House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell are going to do everything possible to see Joe Biden’s presidency fail and under no circumstances would they support this relief plan. They live, breathe, and govern with malice, cruelty and indifference in everything they do. They either do nothing or the bare minimum to help struggling Americans and their loyalties rest with power for power’s sake, corporate fealty, blatant racism and anti-democratic operations. With that in mind, it would be political suicide for Republicans to rally around Biden’s effort to boldly and comprehensively address this crisis that America finds itself in.
Democrats should remind themselves every day in conference calls, zoom meetings and private consultation that this relief plan is a political winner in every meaningful way. To embrace positive reinforcement and to keep their eyes on the prize, which is enacting consequential legislation that reflects on the promises that it made to themselves and the American people that they will use their power for good.
It is incumbent upon Biden and the Democrats to show Americans and prove to themselves that they are finally ready to get out of the abusive relationship that they were in with the Republican Senate and Mitch McConnell in particular. They are no longer locked in the political basement and having to endure the psychological, verbal and emotional abuse that McConnell and Republicans subjected them to for the past six years. McConnell is not Majority Leader anymore; Senator Chuck Schumer is. They are free if they want to be free.
To realize that they have the power to ignore the threats that McConnell will inevitably employ. To laugh at the hypocrisy that will come out of the mouths of Republican Senators as this process plays out and to see right through the charade of this proposed compromise plan by Susan Collins and her group of ten Republican Senators. The proposal has NO money for state and local governments, severely weakens the bill and dramatically lowers the price tag to $600 billion dollars. This is a joke. It has last minute bad faith tactics written all over it. In the end, NO Republican Senator will vote for Biden’s plan and will come up with all kinds of excuses for doing so. Collectively, we know what drives them now is getting back into power, and in their eyes, this cannot be done by supporting Biden’s agenda, regardless of its merits and benefits to the American people.
President Joe Biden and the Democratic Party have political gold in this 1.9 trillion-dollar COVID relief plan. As former President Franklin D. Roosevelt famously said, “the only thing to fear is fear itself.” Democrats should not get in the way of their own success and do what is right for the American people and pass this bill in its entirety. And if they do, they will be rewarded. And Republicans know it.
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