Republicans are rejecting the idea that they will be harmed in midterm elections next year for voting against President Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package, despite its popularity with the public, The Hill reported on Monday.
“I don’t see any risk to Republicans at all opposing this, especially as it relates to the 2022 election,” said GOP strategist Ford O'Connell.
Democrats are hoping their relief package will be signed into law soon, with the House expected to vote on the bill this week.
House Republican leadership says it is opposed to the relief package, becasuse it isn’t targeted and includes Democrat priorities that have nothing to do with the pandemic, particularly aid to state and local governments, as well as a provision to raise the hourly minimum wage to $15.
The White House, pointing to polls showing support for the relief package,is warning that Republicans who oppose the vote are going against their constituents.
A Quinnipiac University poll found that 68% of adults back Biden’s proposal, while 24% are opposed. The bill has very strong support from Democrats and independents. Among Republicans, 47% oppose it, 37% back it, and 16% said they didn’t know or didn’t have an opinion.
However, there is precedent for the GOP voting against a Democrat president’s stimulus bill and then having electoral success in the midterms, according to The Hill. Few Republicans backed former President Barack Obama’s 2009 stimulus bill during the Great Recession, but the GOP flipped control of the House the next year.
Former Republican National Committee spokesperson Doug Heye said the bill is “polling well now, but it’s not clear it’s going to be a voting concern 20 months from now.”
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