The Biden administration has come out swinging in a big way. Our new president has already signed a slew of much-needed executive orders aimed at rolling back the worst cruelties of the Trump administration by targeting everything from his predecessor’s truly evil family separation policy at the Mexican border to his bigoted ban on transgender individuals serving in the military.
President Biden has also withdrawn U.S. support for the horrific war in Yemen, announced a drastic increase in the number of refugees that will be allowed to seek safe haven in America, and reentered the Paris Climate Agreement.
Simultaneously, Biden is pushing for a robust stimulus package to battle the devastating economic effects of COVID-19 after Trump completely failed to rise to the challenge. Democrats recognize that Americans are suffering and want to pass $1.9 trillion in help to ease that suffering and put the country on the fast track to growth and recovery.
Republicans on the other hand are once again pretending to be deficit hawks who deeply care about spending—a facade they were happy to abandon when it came to passing Trump’s massive tax cuts for the super-rich—and are trying to water the stimulus down to something far less effective. Their real motivation is political as they don’t want President Biden getting the big win that a healthy, effective stimulus would constitute. In order to hurt him politically, they’re all too happy to hurt average Americans materially.
Recognizing that the majority of Americans agree with Democrats on this issue, the president addressed the COVID bill today and defended the need for bold spending while blasting the GOP for refusing to rise to the moment. He voiced the self-evidently true observation that the “biggest risk is not going too big, it’s if we go too small,” collapsing the baseless criticisms that some on the far left leveled that Biden would end up being an austere, debt-focused leader.
“We’ve been here before. When this nation hit the Great Recession that Barack and I inherited in 2009 I was asked to lead the effort on the Economic Recovery Act to get it passed. It was a big recovery act, roughly $800 billion. I did everything I could to get it passed including getting three Republicans to change their votes and vote for it. But it wasn’t enough. It wasn’t quite big enough,” said Biden.
“It stemmed the crisis but the recovery could have been even faster and even bigger,” the president went on. “Today we need an answer that meets the challenge of this crisis. Not one that falls short. And that’s the issue facing the country right now. What Republicans have proposed is either to do nothing or not enough. All of a sudden many of them have rediscovered fiscal restraint and the concern for the deficits. But don’t kid yourselves. This approach will come with a cost: more pain for more people for longer than it has to be.”
It’s clear that Biden understands what he’s working against when it comes to the Trumpified Republican Party. They rarely if ever conduct themselves in good faith and the wellbeing of the American people is nowhere near as important to them as their own base political interests. Biden will do what needs to be done and the Republicans can come along for the ride or risk broadcasting their deeply ingrained disdain for their constituents.
Biden: “So the way I see it is the biggest risk is not going too big, it’s if we go too small … all of the sudden, many [Republicans] have rediscovered fiscal restraint.” pic.twitter.com/zZPZ0xZ3em
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) February 5, 2021
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Rob Haffey is a writer, filmmaker, and winner of the ScreenCraft Writing Fellowship. He is a graduate of Drexel University.