What have Republicans said about the new American Rescue Plan?
Republicans have unsurprisingly come out in force to object to president-elect Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, which includes a third round of stimulus checks.
On Thursday evening President-elect Joe Biden outlined his proposal for a new coronavirus relief package known as the American Rescue Plan, which is designed to address the immediate dangers of the pandemic and provide direct assistance to those in need of economic support.
“During this pandemic, millions of Americans, through no fault of their own, have lost the dignity and respect that comes with a job and a paycheck,” said Biden, in what could be considered the first policy speech of his presidency. “There is real pain overwhelming the real economy.”
American Rescue Plan includes new round of stimulus checks
Some of the main points of Biden’s $1.9 trillion proposal include: enhanced unemployment aid worth $400-a-week, rental assistance and eviction moratorium, a 15% increase in food stamp benefits, a new grant program for small business owners, an increase in the national minimum wage to $15 per hour, $350 billion in aid to state and local governments, a $20 billion investment in a national vaccination program and an additional round of stimulus checks worth $1,400.
Republicans oppose American rescue plan
Biden will hope to get the plan into action following his inauguration on Wednesday. But not surprisingly, it has faced opposition from Republican ranks, with GOP lawmakers Sen. Marco Rubio and Rep. Kevin Brady of Texas among those who have objected to the proposal.
“President-elect Biden served in [the] Senate for over 35 years. So he knows the plan he outlined tonight can't pass quickly & will delay the 2k for hard hit Americans,” Rubio tweeted on Thursday night.
Biden’s plan “a blind buffalo”
“Here we go again,” said Brady. “'True to form and his signature failed ‘stimulus’, President-elect Biden launches yet another economic blind buffalo that does nothing to save Main Street businesses, get people back to work, or strengthen the economy.”
“Special interests and liberals are cheering,” he added. “The jobless and Main Street are left shaking their heads.”
Echoing the sentiments of many of his Republican colleagues, Florida senator Rick Scott said the plan was too expensive. "We have to get serious about how we’re spending taxpayer dollars," Scott said in a statement. "We cannot simply throw massive spending at this with no accountability to the current and future American taxpayer."
Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania also added to Republican objections, saying: "Blasting out another $2 trillion in borrowed or printed money.. would be a colossal waste and economically harmful.”
Brian Riedl, a conservative budget expert at the Manhattan Institute, told Insider that the $15 minimum wage is a “nonstarter for most Republicans even during a growing economy. But doing so during a recession would be too heavy of a lift for Republicans.
"Republicans would have a hard time doing that even for President Trump, and there's no real incentive to give a $15 wage to a President Biden.”
With such stern opposition to the plan from Republicans, Democrats, who now have a slight 51-49 majority in the Senate, may have a tough time getting the proposal passed congress in its purest form.
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