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Biden's economic policies are working — but GOP plans to keep fighting them anyway

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell says Republicans will unanimously oppose President Joe Biden’s new jobs plan.

By Josh Israel - April 05, 2021
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell

President Joe Biden’s economic policies have already helped propel the U.S. economy to major gains. But Republicans, who unanimously voted against his $1.9 trillion pandemic relief bill, are now signaling they will fight his infrastructure proposals as well.

Missouri’s Roy Blunt, a key member of the Senate Republican leadership, demanded on Sunday that the Biden administration slash its proposed $2 trillion-plus infrastructure plan by more than two-thirds. Members of his caucus unsuccessfully tried to force a similarly sized cut to the American Rescue Plan earlier this year.

“I think there’s an easy win here for the White House if they would take that win, which is make this an infrastructure package, which is about 30% — even if you stretch the definition of infrastructure some — it’s about 30% of the $2.25 trillion we are talking about spending,” Blunt told Fox News on Sunday.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has said Senate Republicans will unanimously oppose Biden’s American Jobs Plan.

Other congressional Republicans say that they believe opposing Biden’s spending proposals is good politics — despite polling showing the exact opposite.

“They hear about a $4 trillion dollar spending deal, and it’s not going to go toward helping them but go toward ideologically transforming America,” Indiana’s Rep. Jim Banks told the Washington Post on Monday, “and I think largely the American people are very anxious about it.”

Sen. Rick Scott of Florida said last month that he believes Republicans will win because of voters’ “buyer’s remorse” if Democrats enact the tax increases they expressly ran on.

Minnesota Rep. Tom Emmer, who has signed a pledge never to vote for tax increases under any circumstances and backed Donald Trump’s massive corporate tax cuts, said last week that he opposes Biden’s spending because Congress has “turned a blind eye to our nation’s debt for far too long.”

But the $1.9 trillion relief plan is already working. The Washington Post reported on Sunday that the U.S. is now leading the world as the engine of the global economy. The paper cited Oxford Economics data that put the country as the largest contributor to global economic growth for the first time in 16 years.

It also noted that the economy gained 916,000 new jobs in March and unemployment dropped to just 6%, after the pandemic-fueled unemployment records set by Trump.

Biden’s infrastructure proposals could further fuel those gains. His bill would provide trillions more in investment in roads, bridges, water, transit, broadband, and other key programs and would be partially funded by higher taxes on those making more than $400,000 annually.

An analysis last week from the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce predicted that a $1.5 trillion infrastructure bill would create or preserve 15 million jobs over the next decade. It also found that the program would increase GDP by up to $320 billion annually.

Biden noted on Friday that a Moody’s Analytics report is even more optimistic about his infrastructure package. “If we pass this plan, the economy will create 19 million jobs,” he said. “That’s long-term jobs for pipefitters, healthcare workers, those who work in steel factories and the cutting-edge labs as well.”

McConnell argued last week that the plan was a “Trojan horse” because it would rely on “more borrowed money” — though he has increased the national debt by trillions — and “massive tax increases.”

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

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