Every Republican Voted Against Biden’s Wildly Popular American Rescue Plan. Now Many Are Now Busy Trying to Take Credit for It.
Barack Obama once said that Republicans tried to “have their cake and vote against it, too” and, with President Joe Biden’s recent signing of the Covid-19 relief bill still fresh on everyone’s mind, the Twitter accounts of some members of Congress illustrate Obama’s point perfectly.
Biden signed the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan earlier in March without a single Republican vote, however, polling data shows that a majority of Republican voters do, in fact, support it. The legislation is popular among Americans, will cut child poverty drastically, and help the economy so Republicans are facing a challenging bind. How can they message against a bill that does all that?
While some Republicans are trying to distract from the good of the relief bill by waging a pop culture war on whatever the topic of the day is, others are trying to actually take credit for the Democratic policy that they voted against.
Rep. María Elvira Salazar (R-FL) congratulated herself on a decision Biden’s Small Business Administration made to extend deferment periods for Economic Injury Disaster Loans.
Salazar tweeted, “BREAKING … So proud to announce that the Biden Administration has just implemented my bipartisan COVID relief bill as part of @SBAgov.” She said, “I am so proud that my bipartisan legislation has officially become SBA policy.”
So proud to announce that the Biden Administration has just implemented my bipartisan COVID relief bill as part of @SBAgov policy!
— Rep. María Elvira Salazar (@RepMariaSalazar) March 12, 2021
Now because of the timing of the post, which came one day after Biden signed the American Rescue Plan, many were led to believe that she was referring to that Covid relief plan. But Salazar actually voted against that. (The Covid-19 relief bill actually contains $15 billion in EIDL funding.) was signed, led many to believe the lawmaker was referring to the Covid-19 relief bill Salazar voted against — that bill contains $15 billion in EIDL funding. The National Economic Council (NEC) Deputy Director Bharat Ramamurti pointed out that the SBA decision Salazar was highlighting is separate from the American Rescue Plan.
He explained on Twitter, “I’ve seen some confusion on this… On Friday — separate from the American Rescue bill — SBA announced it was letting 3M+ businesses defer EIDL loan payments for an extra year. We’re glad to see bipartisan support for this and other changes we’ve made to help small businesses.”
I’ve seen some confusion on this. On Friday — separate from the American Rescue bill — SBA announced it was letting 3M+ businesses defer EIDL loan payments for an extra year.
We’re glad to see bipartisan support for this and other changes we’ve made to help small businesses. https://t.co/OxVp0u2jfn
— Bharat Ramamurti (@BharatRamamurti) March 14, 2021
Salazar might not be trying to take credit for the Covid-19 relief bill, but her claim about HER “bipartisan COVID relief bill” being “implemented” by the Biden administration is just downright false. That bill has yet to come up for a vote in Congress. The SBA’s press release following the decision to extend deferment made no mention of Salazar either.
Salazar faced criticism for her tweet and responded by saying that her statement on “has nothing to do with the $1.9T Blue State Bailout. It is a bipartisan policy I introduced separately that was adopted by SBA.”
The Democratic National Committee (DNC) recently announced it’s plan to buy billboards in her Florida district to point out that she, along with other Florida GOP lawmakers voted against the much-needed $1,400 relief checks.
Another example is a recent tweet from Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS) praising the $28.6 billion in the relief bill that is allotted to help restaurants.
Wicker said, “Independent restaurant operators have won $28.6 billion worth of targeted relief… This funding will ensure small businesses can survive the pandemic by helping to adapt their operations and keep their employees on the payroll.”
Independent restaurant operators have won $28.6 billion worth of targeted relief.
This funding will ensure small businesses can survive the pandemic by helping to adapt their operations and keep their employees on the payroll.https://t.co/Ob4pRb9Xh4
— Senator Roger Wicker (@SenatorWicker) March 10, 2021
While Wicker did push for restaurant relief, he ultimately voted against the final bill.
Yeah, he got roasted for that.
It is your duty as a patriotic American – on social and off – to vigorous drag Republicans taking credit for the relief they just voted against. Yes, their voters get the relief! They deserve it! Ask Roger Wicker (and all the others) why they didn’t vote for it? https://t.co/utjIwLuU5A
— Josh Marshall (@joshtpm) March 10, 2021
When reporters asked if he was trying to take credit for the Dem legislation, Wicker dismissed it as a “stupid question.”
He said, “One good provision in a $1.9 trillion bill doesn’t mean I have to vote for the whole thing.”
Voters don’t seem to be agreeing with that statement, according to recent polling information from Vox and Data for Progress, which showed that TWICE as many voters were for this bill as were for a Republican plan one-third its size.
This isn’t the first time Republicans have pulled stunts like this. A recent HuffPost article shows how they did the exact same thing for the 2009 stimulus, which was also passed without one single Republican vote.
A similar pattern happened after the 2009 stimulus, when GOP lawmakers who voted against President Barack Obama’s legislation then went back into their home districts and took credit for the money that flowed to their constituents. At the time, ThinkProgress counted 114 Republican lawmakers who blocked the bill while touting its benefits. They sent out press releases taking credit for money that funded projects in their district, even though they voted against it.
Recently on the House floor, Rep. John Yarmuth (D-KY), said, “what we are all concerned about on our side is that the Republicans are all going to vote against this, and then they’re going to show up at every ribbon cutting, and at every project funded out of this bill, and they’re going to pump up their chests and take credit for all of these great benefits that are coming to their citizens.”
Biden’s recent relief package is even more popular than the 2009 stimulus and comes after many Republicans had no problem backing Trump’s two relief bills.