As President Joe Biden begins a “Help is Here” tour to promote the coronavirus relief package he signed into law last week, the Republican National Committee (RNC) is planning a media blitz with local surrogates criticizing the legislation as a $1.9 trillion “boondoggle,” The Hill reported on Tuesday.
The RNC’s rapid response team plans to counter in real time public appearances by Biden and Vice President Harris to cast what could be the president’s signature legislative achievement as merely a bailout for blue states and money wasted on pet projects for progressives.
The RNC effort will include multilingual outreach to Black, Hispanic and Asian communities, as well as media calls with local surrogates in key battlegrounds states.
“Joe Biden and Democrats in Congress have let down hardworking Americans by passing their $1.9 trillion boondoggle of a spending bill, with only 9% of the money targeted to fighting the pandemic,” RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said. “As Biden takes his victory lap to the states, we will actively be holding him and his Democrat counterparts accountable for misleading the American people and ensuring that voters know the real cost and waste of this package.”
Polls indicate that the RNC has an uphill battle to climb to sour the public on the legislation, with a recent CBS-YouGov poll finding, for example, that 74% of Americans approve of the relief package, including 94% of Democrats, 77% of independents and 46% of Republicans.
Biden on Monday established a goal of sending out 100 million relief stimulus checks, a key part of the legislation, to qualified Americans over the next 10 days. In addition, the president named economic adviser Gene Sperling to oversee the implementation of the spending package, which also includes funds for local governments, businesses, and schools, The Hill reported.
Republicans plan to argue that the bill did not tie school reopenings to the money they are receiving in order to safeguard against the virus, and that provisions were not put in place to keep local governments from spending the funds they are receiving on unrelated projects.
The RNC also intends to make the case that the relief package will add trillions in new debt.
Republicans also plan to point out in the media blitz that the bill directs billions of dollars to initiatives that are unrelated to coronavirus, including $600 million for eradicating the budget deficit of San Francisco and $86 billion going toward state pension funds that were already in bad shape before the pandemic delivered a blow to the economy.
However, even as the RNC attempts to criticize the relief package, Republican leaders in Congress seem to have already moved on to other issues.
One such example was House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s trip to El Paso on Monday to attack the Biden administration for the worsening crisis at the southern border, where thousands of unaccompanied minors have been detained by Customs and Border Protection.
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