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The GOP bets against American recovery

The GOP bets against American recovery
© Bonnie Cash

The starkly different policy priorities of the two parties are dramatically on display this week.

The focus of President BidenJoe BidenMilitary must better understand sexual assaults to combat them The Hill's Equilibrium — Presented by NextEra Energy — Tasmanian devil wipes out penguin population On The Money: Democrats make full-court press on expanded child tax credit | White House confident Congress will raise debt ceiling MORE and the Democratic Party is on pandemic recovery and economic revitalization, while the GOP falls back on the tired Trump cultural playbook that led the party to lose the White House and both houses of Congress during his troubled tenure.

Biden and Vice President Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisWhat blue wave? A close look at Texas today tells of a different story A healthier planet and economy is worth fighting for Watch live: Harris gives remarks on the child tax credit MORE are on the road selling the new economic stimulus the American Rescue Plan Act to the public. Biden and Harris are preaching to the choir since the new law already enjoys widespread public support.

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Meanwhile House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin McCarthyHillicon Valley: Cyber agency says SolarWinds hack could have been deterred | Civil rights groups urge lawmakers to crack down on Amazon's 'dangerous' worker surveillance | Manchin-led committee puts forth sprawling energy infrastructure proposal Chuck Todd reluctant to 'ban' election deniers from 'Meet the Press' GOP divided over bills targeting tech giants MORE (R-Calif.) led a delegation of House Republicans on a visit to the Mexican border where he spoke against immigrants. He even claimed without any evidence that terrorists were crossing the border. 

The GOP will do anything to distract Americans from the Biden’s administration’s immediate and aggressive response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the ailing economy.

The Republican battle plan is to bring cultural issues to a high boil. They will likely continue to demonize and denigrate immigrants. The party will likely also play the cultural wild card with attacks on a corporate decision to blacklist old Dr. Seuss books and Hasbro’s decision to drop the “Mr.” and “Mrs.” designations from the Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head toys. This is a thin gruel to Americans hungry for recovery.

This diversion didn’t work in the last midterm election in 2018 and it won’t work in 2022. Back then, Republicans failed to develop a response to the public cry for better health care by attempting to scare Americans about a mythical massive caravan of immigrants approaching the Mexican border. On Election Day, the Republican Party lost control of the House. The national exit poll demonstrated that voters were much more worried about health care than immigration. 

Biden is betting the new law will heal both the wounds inflicted by the COVID-19 pandemic and the scars left over from the ailing economy. 

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He is building a broad consensus on economic issues knowing Americans vote based on their wallets and the GOP has little positive to offer on the economic front.

Hopefully, voters will realize that Democratic financial recoveries after Republican setbacks have been a recurring theme since the New Deal. 

Biden is the second consecutive Democratic president to ride to the rescue after a GOP chief executive left the economy in ruins. The economy was reeling when Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaObama: Voting rights bill must pass before next election The world's most passionate UFO skeptic versus the government Biden plans to host Obama for portrait unveiling that Trump skipped: report MORE took over from President George W. Bush. Now, the 46th president took quick action to fight the pandemic that the 45th president downplayed and fix the economy that his predecessor left in ruins.

The passage of the American Rescue Plan Act means help is on the way to distressed Americans. The law includes $1,400 checks to low- and middle-income Americans, extended unemployment insurance and tax breaks to help families with children.  

Seven out of every 10 Americans in a new national survey by the Pew Research Center favor the administration’s plan. 

Support from Democrats is nearly unanimous, but the notable fact is that even four in 10 grassroots Republicans are supportive of the relief package even though not one of the 211 GOP members of Congress voted for it.

COVID-19 rates are coming down and the Dow Jones is going up. If COVID-19 recedes and the economy recovers significantly by next fall, the Biden and congressional Democrats will have a very potent message for the 2022 midterm elections.

The president’s party doesn’t usually fare very well in midterms but next year could be different. The popularity of the American Rescue Plan gives Democrats a powerful weapon to wield against the party of Trump. Democrats may be able to defy expectations and pick up seats in both houses of Congress. 

Democratic media consultants are already salivating to create attack ads against the Republican incumbents who failed to support the new law. 

GOP congressional candidates will be on the defensive defending their votes against the Democratic recovery package that brought America back to life after the nation was frozen in place for a year by the health care crisis and the subsequent economic collapse under Trump. Republicans will have to root against American resilience and bet against the nation’s recovery to survive.

Brad Bannon is a Democratic pollster and CEO of Bannon Communications Research. He is also the host of a radio podcast “Deadline D.C. With Brad Bannon” that airs on the Progressive Voices Network. Follow him on Twitter @BradBannon.