Administration

Biden jabs at McConnell for highlighting bill he voted against

President Biden on Wednesday swiped at Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) for pointing out the local benefits of an economic relief law that the GOP leader and other Republicans opposed.

“Mitch McConnell loves our programs,” Biden told reporters in Illinois during a visit to promote his infrastructure proposal. “You see what Mitch McConnell said? He told me he wasn’t going to get a single vote in order to allow me to get, with the help of everybody here, that $1.9 trillion … program for economic growth.

“Look it up, man. He’s bragging about it in Kentucky,” Biden added. 

Biden, who was asked about McConnell’s dug-in stance on infrastructure talks, was referencing comments from the minority leader a day earlier during an event in his home state.

“Well, it passed on a straight party-line vote,” McConnell said of the American Rescue Plan, a $1.9 trillion relief bill passed via the budget reconciliation process that contained funding to fight the pandemic, as well as money for state and local governments, among other items.

“Not a single member of my party voted for it,” McConnell said. “So, you’re going to get a lot more money. I didn’t vote for it. But you’re going to get a lot more money. Cities and counties in Kentucky will get close to $700 [million] or $800 million. If you add up the total amount that will come into our state, $4 billion, that’s twice what was sent in last year.”

McConnell said he felt the government had “floated entirely too much money” and warned of the consequences as the price of gas and other goods increase. Spending has been a main concern for Republicans as they negotiate a bipartisan infrastructure deal with Democrats and the White House.

“This doesn’t make sense,” McConnell said of the spending levels as the economy rebounds. “It’s wildly out of proportion to where the country is now.”

Democrats and White House officials highlighted McConnell’s comments on social media, using it to promote the benefits of Biden’s relief bill.

“.@LeaderMcConnell is absolutely right on all counts here,” deputy White House press secretary Andrew Bates tweeted.

“Thank you, Mitch McConnell, for highlighting the tremendous help President Biden and Congressional Democrats’ #AmericanRescuePlan is providing to cash-strapped state and local governments, hardworking American families, frontline workers, and those hit hardest by the pandemic,” Rep. John Yarmuth (D-Ky.) tweeted.

The White House has jabbed at Republicans who have gone on to highlight the benefits of the American Rescue Plan despite their opposition to it, with the president in late May also swiping at Republican lawmakers.

Biden read off a list of Republicans who publicized how the law had helped their districts despite voting against the bill, including Reps. Elise Stefanik (N.Y.), Greg Pence (Ind.), Beth Van Duyne (Texas) and Jaime Herrera Beutler (Wash.).

“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 at the time.

Updated at 5:19 p.m.

Tags American Rescue Plan Elise Stefanik Greg Pence Jaime Herrera Beutler Joe Biden John Yarmuth Mitch McConnell
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