A new memo stresses that President Biden's White House believes his US $ 1.9 trillion bailout plan is both good policy and good policy that may hurt GOP rivals and helping Americans suffering from the coronavirus pandemic.
"There seems to be growing conventional wisdom that if the GOP takes an obstructive, partisan, political stance, it's either politically smart or, in the worst case, free," said Mike Donilon, a top adviser to the president, wrote Tuesday in a memo to White House officers published by Axios. "However, there is a lot of evidence that the opposite is the case: it is politically not wise for the GOP to take this path. And instead of being free, this approach has done them quite a bit of harm."
Republicans seem ready to repeat the tactics they used when a Democrat last held the White House, blocking Biden's agenda whenever possible. This proved to be an effective strategy in 2010 and 2014, when Republicans won the up and down vote to take control of Congress, the governor's mansions, and state legislature. But Donilon has suggested that stubborn opposition is harming the GOP, citing a New York Times story citing declines in registered Republicans and favoritism ratings for Republican leaders in Congress that are well below those of the president. Democrats have also cited last month's special election to the Senate in Georgia, in which they switched two Republican seats.
President Biden met with union leaders in the Oval Office on Wednesday. (Pete Marovich / Pool / Getty Images)
"People need relief and they need it now," Rebecca Katz, a Democratic strategist, told Yahoo News. “Republicans are in a bit of an identity crisis, and while trying to figure out who to listen to, Democrats struggle for real relief. It's really easy to explain. "
"The Georgia Democrats received a very simple message about the results that Georgians were feeling in their pockets," added Katz. “It was the first time in the 2020 election that the Democrats gave a clear message, and it worked. You have to learn from it. "
The story goes on
Biden has been firm in his message since taking office: he would prefer to support the stimulus package in a non-partisan way, but with the moral argument of growing up in the short term to help the most suffering and the economic argument of growing up for one In order to avoid prolonged recession in the long term, he is unwilling to significantly reduce the size of the bill or to delay it longer than necessary to reach it. The president has cited the lessons of 2009 when then-President Barack Obama's urge to get 60 Senate votes and fulfill his campaign promise to unite America resulted in weaker incentive and, as Democrats now argue, persistent economic consequences.
"The way I see it, the greatest risk is not too great when we get too small," said Biden in a speech at the White House on February 5.
"We've been here before. When this nation went through the great recession that Barack and I inherited in 2009, I was asked to lead the recovery law effort to get it passed. It was a big recovery package, roughly $ 800 billion. I went out of my way to make it happen, including calling for three Republicans to change their votes and vote for it. But it wasn't enough. It wasn't big enough. It stopped the crisis, but it would have made the recovery can be faster and even bigger. Today we need an answer that does justice to the challenge of this crisis and does not miss out. "
Democrats stand ready to use the budget vote process to get the bill passed with just 50 votes in the Senate and Vice President Kamala Harris tiebreaking. It's the same process that Republicans used in 2017 to pass a massive tax overhaul that disproportionately benefited the rich. This has undermined GOP news against the Biden Aid Bill, both in terms of the method by which Democrats passed it, and in terms of the potential impact on the budget deficit and national debt.
Vice President Kamala Harris at a meeting at the White House last week. (Carlos Barria / Reuters)
As quoted in the Donilon memo, the survey supports the stimulus package. A CBS / YouGov poll found that 83 percent of those polled support another aid package, while Quinnipiac found 68 percent support specifically for the US $ 1.9 trillion rescue plan. These results are in line with a Yahoo News / YouGov poll earlier this month that found 74 percent support for stimulus testing of $ 2,000. Even the aspects of the bill being debated among Democrats – such as a $ 15 increase in the minimum wage – received a majority support in the Yahoo News / YouGov poll (58 percent versus 31 percent).
Other provisions in Biden's bill include expanding federal unemployment benefits, funding vaccine distribution, nutrition programs, schools, and state and local governments.
“I learned from the survey data that they want everything on schedule – no kidding. Everything is on schedule, ”said Biden on Wednesday. “I asked a rhetorical question: those who oppose the plan, what do they dislike? … don't you want to help people with nutrition? Don't you want to help people pay their mortgages? Don't you want to help people get their unemployment insurance? Don't they want to make sure people can stay in their homes without being kicked out of their homes in the middle of this godly pandemic? What do not you like? "
This is a departure from 2009 when, despite Obama's huge popularity and the fact that the country was in deep economic crisis, polls showed that the bill was passed with a small majority. A CNN poll found support of 54 percent, while Gallup found support in the weeks leading up to the February vote that waned in the low 50s.
House Democrats hope that the current bill will be ready by the end of next week, with the expiry of the extended unemployment benefit in mid-March serving as the deadline for lawmakers.
"I hope the Democrats can learn the lesson from 2009 and we don't have much time," said Katz. “The end of the first 100 days is fast approaching and we have some real things to do for the American people. Democrats need to show that they can deliver. You have to show that Americans are better off when in charge. "
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