FLASHBACK: Senate Republicans Now Reject Biden’s COVID Bill After Previously Supporting Measures Similar To Key Provisions
Senate Republicans have refused to work with Democrats to deliver a new COVID-19 relief bill to the American people even though they have supported measures similar to many of the provisions within the bill in the past
Many of the Senate Republicans that refuse to work with their Democratic colleagues are on the record in support of direct checks, increasing the Child Tax Credit and Economic Income Tax Credit, as well as raising the minimum wage
Accountable Senate War Room: “Republicans should put their money where their mouth is and start working with Democrats to get much-needed relief into the hands of working families as quickly as possible.”
Washington, D.C. – Today, the Accountable Senate War Room is calling out Senate Republicans for their blatant hypocrisy in opposing a COVID relief package that includes provisions similar to those they have previously supported. Nearly a year into a once-in-a-generation pandemic that has killed hundreds of thousands and left millions unemployed, Senate Republicans are refusing to work with Democrats on a meaningful COVID relief package — even though they previously supported provisions that mirror key elements of Biden’s plan, including higher direct payments to families, expanding the child tax credit, and raising the minimum wage. As the unemployment rate remains high, homelessness and poverty continue plaguing cities across the country, and small businesses continue being forced to close their doors for good, Senate Republicans are standing in the way of Americans getting back on their feet and recovering from this pandemic.
“It’s hard to believe Senate Republicans are sincere in supporting relief for American families when they now object to the very same ideas they supported a few months ago,” said Mairead Lynn, spokesperson for Accountable Senate War Room. “Supporting the expansion of the child tax credit and direct payments in the abstract is an easy way to score cheap political points, but it means nothing to American families if their senators object to a bill that would provide just that. Republicans should put their money where their mouth is and start working with Democrats to get much-needed relief into the hands of working families as quickly as possible.”
President Biden’s American Rescue Plan includes many key provisions focused on getting money directly in the pockets of working families, including $1,400 stimulus checks, an increase of the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour, and an expansion of the Child Tax Credit (CTC). It would also expand the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) from roughly $530 to close to $1,500. Many Senate Republicans have supported similar provisions in the past, but are now threatening to oppose the bill. American families are struggling, and this next COVID relief package is a real opportunity to give families the direct relief they’ve been waiting on for months.
View the Senate War Room’s full research here. Below is a snapshot of Republican senators’ previous support for provisions similar to those in the American Rescue Plan, and their current attempts to obstruct relief getting to the American people:
Senator Graham (R-SC)
- Graham: “I’m With President Trump On This. I Think A Family Of Four, If They Got $8,000 It Would Help Our Economy. I Think They Need The $8,000.” [FOX News, 12/31/20] (VIDEO)
Senator Rubio (R-FL)
- Rubio, December 2020: “I Share Many Of My Colleagues’ Concern About The Long-Term Effects Of Additional Spending, But We Cannot Ignore The Fact That Millions Of Working Class Families Across The Nation Are In Dire Need Of Relief. Congress Should Quickly Pass Legislation To Increase Direct Payments To Americans To $2,000.” [Office of Senator Marco Rubio, “I Support $2000 Payments to Americans in Need,” 12/28/20]
Senator Lee (R-UT)
- In December 2020, Lee Said “‘The Child Tax Credit Has Overwhelming Bipartisan Support’” As “‘Anyone Who Wants To Increase The CTC Will Have My Support.’” “Lee pledged his backing in a statement provided to Bloomberg Tax. ‘The child tax credit has overwhelming bipartisan support for a reason,’ Lee said. ‘Whoever controls the White House, the House, and the Senate, anyone who wants to increase the CTC will have my support.’” [Bloomberg Tax, 12/12/20]
- In December 2020, Lee outlined Senate Republicans’ plan to prevent increased direct relief from getting to the American people, claiming they don’t want COVID relief money to become Biden’s “slush fund.” He also voted against moving forward on Biden’s COVID-19 relief bill twice — once on Feb. 2 and again on Feb. 5.
Senator Cruz (R-TX)
- In 2016, Ted Cruz Said “He Wants To ‘Expand’ And ‘Modernize’ The Earned Income Tax Credit.” “Now here’s where things get a little ambiguous. Theoretically, Cruz has a proposal to deal with all these issues. The candidate says he wants to ‘expand’ and ‘modernize’ the Earned Income Tax Credit, which boosts after-tax earnings for low-wage workers, and could offset the the VAT’s erosive effect on their wages. Unfortunately, the public version of Cruz’s tax plan doesn’t offer any further detail, so the Tax Policy Center assumes he won’t actually increase the credit. The Tax Foundation, on the other hand, says Cruz is going to boost the EITC by 20 percent, which would more than make up for the VAT.” [Slate, 02/16/16]
Senator Fischer (R-NE)
- December 29, 2020: Senator Deb Fischer Voiced Support For Increased Checks, Saying “People Are Hurting And We Need To Get Them More Aid.” “Sen. Deb Fischer (R-Neb.) also lent support Tuesday, declaring that ‘people are hurting and we need to get them more aid.’” [Washington Post, 12/29/20]