‘Quite Damaging’: White House Adviser Says Stimulus Opposition Will Hurt GOP


In a memo obtained by Axios, a White House senior adviser warned that the Republican party’s staunch opposition to President Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus plan will be politically damaging to the party because it runs counter to the overwhelming support for the legislation among Americans.

Key Facts

Donilon suggested that the GOP’s “obstructionist” posturing isn’t “politically smart,” but rather has proved “quite damaging” and has already eroded support within the Republican base. 

He pointed to a recent Morning Consult poll showing that just 23% of registered voters believe the Republican Party is headed in the right direction.

Donilon also contrasted low favorability ratings for Republican leaders (Sen. Mitch McConnell at 19% and Rep. Kevin McCarthy at 21%) with Biden’s 62% approval rating.

Big Number

68%. That’s the portion of Americans that say they support Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus plan, a Quinnipiac University poll found earlier this month. The poll also revealed 78% support for the $1,400 direct payments Biden wants to include in the legislation. Biden’s proposal also includes enhanced federal employment benefits of $400 per week through the fall, a $15 national minimum wage, a major expansion of the child tax credit, billions of dollars for vaccinations, schools, state and local governments, rental assistance, and more.

Crucial Quote

“Opposing President Biden’s American Rescue Plan only exacerbates Republicans’ predicament,” Donilon wrote. “By opposing the American Rescue Plan, the GOP is putting itself at odds with a rescue package supported overwhelmingly by the American people.”

Key Background

Congressional Democrats are moving forward with the proposed rescue plan through a special process called budget reconciliation, which will allow them to pass the legislation with a simple majority over the objections of Republicans. Republican critics of the package have said it is too expensive, poorly targeted to those Americans in need of relief, and contains extraneous provisions not directly related to the coronavirus crisis. Republicans have also criticized Democrats’ use of the reconciliation process, which they characterize as betrayal of the messages of unity and bipartisan cooperation Biden espoused during his campaign.

Chief Critic

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) characterized some parts of the bill as Democratic “policy distractions” that he said would “only make America weaker and bring our recovery to a halt,” the Associated Press reported last week.

Further Reading

White House memo: Obstruction will cost GOP (Axios)

68% Of Americans Approve Of Biden’s $1.9 Trillion Stimulus Plan, Poll Finds (Forbes)

All Eyes Turn To Stimulus After Trump Impeachment Acquittal—But Hurdles Remain In Deeply Divided Congress (Forbes)

Here’s Where $1,400 Stimulus Checks, $15 Minimum Wage And The Rest Of Biden’s $1.9 Trillion Rescue Plan Stand Today (Forbes)

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