McConnell accuses Biden of 'bait and switch' for keeping campaign promises

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Sen. Mitch McConnell accused President Joe Biden of running as a moderate but not governing as one.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell accused President Joe Biden on Tuesday of hoodwinking the American people by running as a moderate but not governing as one. But the examples the Kentucky Republican cited disprove his claim of a "bait and switch."

Speaking to reporters, McConnell said:

With regard to the direction of the Biden administration so far, I think it can best be described as the "Biden bait and switch." President Biden ran as a moderate, but I'm hard pressed to think of anything at all that he's done — so far — that would indicate some degree of moderation.

 

The bait is always the title, like the massive COVID bill, but with only 1% for vaccines and 9% for health care. Or infrastructure, which is the bait, but the details involve more money for electric cars than for most projects that most of us consider infrastructure. And of course a massive tax increase, undoing the 2017 tax bill, which produced the biggest, best economy in 50 years as recently as February of 2020. Or a bill styled as voting rights, which in fact is a carefully designed plan for the Democrats to take over all of American elections all across the country.

But while it is clear that McConnell does not back Biden's agenda, it is anything but a "bait and switch." His policy agenda as president has been consistent with the proposals he outlined as a candidate.

Biden's American Rescue Plan, which provided $1.9 trillion for pandemic relief, was very much in line with what he ran on in the 2020 campaign. Contrary to repeated GOP lies, much more than 9% of the funding mandated by the law went to combat the coronavirus.

When he was a candidate, Biden's "Plan to Combat Coronavirus (COVID-19) and Prepare for Future Global Health Threats" called for both a public health response and a "decisive economic response" to aid those suffering with the financial impacts of the pandemic.

"Make no mistake: this will require an immediate set of ambitious and progressive economic measures, and further decisive action to address the larger macro-economic shock from this outbreak," Biden's campaign website said.

He also pledged in his August Democratic National Convention speech that he would "make sure our schools have the resources they need to be open, safe, and effective."

Biden's pandemic package provided billions for safer school reopening, $1,400 relief checks for most Americans, expanded unemployment benefits, and an average 2021 tax cut of more than $3,000.

He also vowed as a candidate to invest both in roads and bridge infrastructure and in green infrastructure to combat climate change. He called his ideas "The Biden Plan to Build a Modern, Sustainable Infrastructure and an Equitable Clean Energy Future."

"Joe Biden's Build Back Better plan ensures that – coming out of this profound public health and economic crisis, and facing the persistent climate crisis – we are never caught flat-footed again," the proposed plan stated. "He will launch a national effort aimed at creating the jobs we need to build a modern, sustainable infrastructure now and deliver an equitable clean energy future."

Biden's proposal to invest in highways, broadband, clean water, electric vehicles, and transit closely matches his $2.25 trillion American Jobs Plan — the one McConnell derided as not really about infrastructure.

Candidate Biden also promised tax increases for those making more than $400,000 a year and for corporations — as he has proposed as president — and support for government reform and voting rights legislation.

He has already kept campaign promises to create a bipartisan commission on Supreme Court reform; to reverse Donald Trump's anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim, and anti-LGBTQ policies; raise the minimum hourly wage to $15 for federal contractors; and address gun violence.

In his August 2020 Republican National Convention speech, McConnell himself said that Democrats wanted to raise taxes and undermine Trump's agenda: "They want to tax your job out of existence and then send you a government check for unemployment. They want to tell you what kind of car you can drive, what sources of information are credible, and even how many hamburgers you can eat. ... The stakes have never been higher, which is why I'm asking you to support Republican Senate candidates across the country and reelect my friend, President Donald Trump."

McConnell's candidate Trump in fact left behind a string of broken campaign promises.

Trump vowed in 2016 that he would quickly build a massive border wall to be funded entirely by Mexico, replace Obamacare with a "terrific" plan to provide health insurance coverage to every American, bring 5%-6% economic growth, balance the budget and eliminate the national debt, and "drain the swamp" with sweeping ethics reform. He did none of those things.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.