McConnell Says Republicans Will Fight Biden’s $1.9 Trillion Stimulus Bill ‘In Every Way That We Can’
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Topline

As Senate Democrats prepare to take up President Biden’s sweeping $1.9 trillion rescue package later this week, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) pledged Tuesday that Republicans will fight the legislation “in every way that we can.”

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) gets off the escalator in the Senate subway on March … [+] 2, 2021 in Washington, DC.

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Key Facts

During a Tuesday press briefing, McConnell described the package as “wildly expensive” and “largely unrelated to the problem,” echoing consistent criticism from the GOP that the bill contains unnecessary provisions that are unrelated to the public health crisis and carries a price tag that is much too steep.

The House passed its version of the bill on Saturday despite unanimous opposition from the Republican Party (two moderate Democrats also voted to oppose the bill) using a special legislative process called budget reconciliation. 

McConnell and other Republicans have criticized Democrats’ use of the reconciliation process to advance the bill without input from the GOP, which Republicans view as a betrayal of the ideals of bipartisanship Biden espoused during his campaign. 

Biden is making the rounds among Democratic lawmakers this week to shore up support for his plan, since Democrats’ razor-thin majority in the Senate means he cannot afford to lose a single vote from within the caucus to pass the package (and bypass a Senate filibuster) under reconciliation rules. 

During a call with Senate Democrats on Tuesday afternoon, Biden reportedly emphasized the need for unity within the Democratic caucus and cited the legislation’s overwhelming popularity with American voters.

Big Number

76%. That’s the share of registered voters who support the $1.9 trillion stimulus package, according to a Morning Consult poll released last week. A Quinnipiac University poll released last month found that 68% of Americans supported the plan. 

Crucial Quote

“It is my hope that at the end, Senate Republicans will unanimously oppose [the bill],” McConnell said Tuesday, “just like House Republicans did.”

Tangent

Mike Donilon, a senior advisor to President Biden, sent a memo to White House senior staff last month suggesting that the GOP’s staunch opposition to the relief package would be politically damaging to the party in the long run. “By opposing the American Rescue Plan, the GOP is putting itself at odds with a rescue package supported overwhelmingly by the American people,” Donilon wrote.

Further Reading

Biden Courts Moderate Democrats As Senate Prepares $1.9 Trillion Stimulus Bill (Forbes)

House Passes Biden’s $1.9 Trillion Stimulus Bill (Forbes)

A $15 Minimum Wage Can’t Be Included In Biden’s $1.9 Trillion Stimulus Plan, Senate Official Rules (Forbes)

‘Quite Damaging’: White House Advisor Says Stimulus Opposition Will Hurt GOP (Forbes)

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