Biden needles GOP touting rescue plan they opposed: ‘Some people have no shame’
President Biden on Thursday swiped at Republican lawmakers who have bragged to constituents about the benefits of the American Rescue Plan, the $1.9 trillion relief package he signed earlier this year that didn’t garner a single GOP vote in Congress.
“I’m not going to embarrass any one of them, but I have here a list of how back in their districts, they’re bragging about the rescue plan,” Biden said during a speech on the economy in Cleveland, Ohio, pulling a note card from his jacket pocket.
Biden read off how various Republicans have touted the Restaurant Revitalization Fund, which provides funding for small businesses hurting from the pandemic, as well as grants to community health centers that were included in the rescue plan.
“I mean, some people have no shame,” he said with a laugh. “But I’m happy. I’m happy they know that it benefitted their constituents. And it’s OK with me. But if you’re going to try to take credit for what you’ve done, don’t get in the way of what we still need to do.”
Reps. Elise Stefanik (N.Y.), Greg Pence (Ind.), Beth Van Duyne (Texas) and Jaime Herrera Beutler (Wash.) are among the GOP lawmakers who have promoted the Restaurant Revitalization Fund, despite having voted against the bill that authorized money for the program.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), the campaign arm of House Democrats, previously announced a series of digital ads targeting House Republicans, including Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (Calif.), for touting elements of the relief bill that they opposed.
Biden on Thursday argued support for the rescue plan and the resulting employment and financial data are proof that his administration’s economic plan is working. He cautioned that more needs to be done to have a sustainable economic recovery and called for passage of his infrastructure proposal.
He called for investments in climate-friendly industries to create new jobs; funding to improve pipes that carry drinking water; and money for broadband and traditional infrastructure that he says would allow the United States to compete internationally for decades to come.
Biden also reiterated his call to pay for his infrastructure plan through raising the corporate tax rate, something Republicans have pushed back against.
“My plan is the right way to invest, spreading key investments over time so we limit the price pressure,” he said. “This is the right time to invest when we have historically low interest rates. Investing now with a plan to pay for it … is a fiscally responsible thing to do. Of course, there are critics out there who want to stand still.”
The White House and Senate Republicans have struggled to find common ground on an infrastructure deal, leaving the path forward murky. The White House’s latest offer is a $1.7 trillion proposal, down roughly $500 billion from its first package.
Republicans on Thursday countered with a proposal totaling about $928 billion. Biden did not comment on the proposal during Thursday’s remarks, but told reporters before departing for Ohio that he expected to meet with Sen. Shelly Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) and other GOP negotiators next week.
“I told her we have to finish this really soon,” Biden said.