Saturday, March 06, 2021

Congress Passes COVID Relief Bill Without Any GOP Support

We should be clear -- this was a bipartisan bill, in the sense that Americans of both parties backed its content. It passed on a party line vote because the GOP is relentlessly partisan and will never back any significant Democratic Party initiative no matter how it is framed or how much effort is put into negotiation. Yes, that includes Moderate Republican (tm) Susan Collins. And it's a very, very good thing that Democrats learned this lesson from the Obama years, and didn't waste time in a futile effort to gain meaningless Republican support. If Republicans had actual good ideas for the relief bill (as opposed to the "idea" of giving less help to fewer people), they were welcome to say so. In the meantime, Democrats should own all the tremendously popular provisions of this law straight through the midterms.

The other thing I want to say is that while yes, the random bites Joe Manchin decided to take out of the final bill were frustrating, stupid, and gratuitous, they also don't change the fact that the final bill is one of the most strikingly progressive pieces of stimulus legislation ever to pass through Congress. That's testament to a serious shift in the Democratic Party coalition which is worth celebrating, and it's also a good illustration that at the end of the day, the difference between Biden vs. Harris vs. Warren vs. Sanders as President pales in comparison to the difference between Ossoff and Warnock vs. Perdue and Loeffler as Georgia's Senators.

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