GOP is trying really hard to convince Americans they shouldn't want their COVID checks


Polls show 75% of Americans back the plan.

Republican efforts to convince the public that the American Rescue Plan is a terrible thing have thus far been a complete bust. So the Republican National Committee is mounting a new campaign reusing debunked talking points against it.

President Joe Biden signed the $1.9 trillion pandemic relief bill into law last Thursday; 75% of Americans say they back the plan.

As he prepares to travel around the country promoting the law, which will provide a $1,400 check and a $3,040 average tax cut to most Americans, $350 billion to state and local governments, and billions of dollars for schools, virus testing, and vaccination, Republicans say they will rely on local surrogates to undermine his message.

"Joe Biden and Democrats in Congress have let down hardworking Americans by passing their $1.9 trillion boondoggle of a spending bill, with only nine percent of the money targeted to fighting the pandemic," RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel falsely claimed to the Hill on Tuesday. "As Biden takes his victory lap to the states, we will actively be holding him and his Democrat counterparts accountable for misleading the American people and ensuring that voters know the real cost and waste of this package."

The 9% claim has been repeatedly made by congressional Republicans, all of whom voted against the bill.

While 9% of the funds go to direct virus efforts against the virus, the claim ignores the hundreds of billions of dollars aimed at helping schools more safely return to in-person instruction and helping state and local governments "ensure that they are in a position to keep front line public workers on the job and paid, while also effectively distributing the vaccine, scaling testing, reopening schools, and maintaining other vital services."

Democrats have been upfront about the other provisions of the bill, which are aimed at undoing the economic damage caused by the coronavirus pandemic. According to a CNN poll released last Wednesday, 85% of American adults support the tax cut provisions, 77% support the aid to schools, 76% support the $1,400 checks, and 59% support the grants to state, local, tribal, and territorial governments.

That did not stop Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell from arguing on Thursday that the American people are too stupid to understand what is in the legislation.

"I understand why the American people's initial response to this is positive. What they do not know is how much of the bill has nothing to do with the pandemic," the Kentucky Republican told PBS. "Less than 1% of it deals with vaccinations. Only about 9% of it deals with health care."

Despite months of Republicans attacking the legislation, it remains widely popular.

Though the bill passed in the House and Senate without a single Republican vote, a recent Morning Consult/Politico poll found 59% of Republicans voters favor the legislation, while just 35% oppose it. Among all voters, 75% backed the plan.

While the Republican National Committee and other GOP campaigns attack Democrats for backing the legislation, Democrats are planning to use the GOP's unanimous opposition against them in the 2022 midterm elections.

In late February, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee launched digital ads against 10 House Republicans who voted against the bill.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.