Republican hypocrisy knows no bounds as GOP politicians reflexively oppose any measure supported by President Biden and his Democratic allies in Congress no matter how popular they are with the public at large and no matter how much the legislation in question may benefit their own constituents.
The American Rescue Plan pandemic stimulus relief bill is the perfect case in point.
The $1.9 trillion legislation is wildly popular with Americans, with The Politico/Morning Consult poll finding that 75% of registered voters either strongly or somewhat support the package, including 59% of Republicans.
Still, the bill passed without a single vote from any member of the Senate GOP and continues to be criticized for being too expensive, despite the fact that the Republicans had no qualms about spending an equally huge amount by reducing taxes primarily on the wealthy during the first year of the Trump administration.
Fox News Sunday anchor Chris Wallace called out one prominent GOP senator for his hypocrisy today as he confronted Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) over his refusal to vote for the American Rescue Plan and his supposed excuse for his lack of support for the measure: the fact that the bill even allows currently incarcerated prisoners to receive the stimulus checks.
As Chris Wallace perceptively pointed out, the Arkansas senator voted for similar COVID-19 relief bills under Donald Trump that also issued checks to prisoners.
“But Senator, under two previous COVID relief bills that you supported and voted for and that President Trump signed, prisoners also got checks in those bills,” Wallace told Cotton.
Senator Cotton furiously tried to explain away the inconsistency in his positions by conveniently blaming progressive activists and a liberal judge, despite the GOP-controlled Senate’s packing of the federal judicial system with Federalist-society right-wing activist judges during the course of Trump’s term.
“That was obviously never Congress’s intent,” Cotton replied defensively. “The Trump administration, the IRS and the Treasury Department did not send checks to prisoners. Liberal advocacy groups sued to try to force that. A liberal judge said they had to.”
“This month was the first time we had a simple up or down vote on whether those checks should go to prisoners,” he added. “And the simple fact is that every Democrat voted to keep sending checks to prisoners.”
What Cotton fails to mention is that every Republican voted against sending checks to anyone at all.
Senator Cotton’s attempts at damage control and post-mortem excuses for his and his party’s opposition to a bill that only needed to be as large as it was because of the Trump administration’s failure to properly manage the nation’s response to the pandemic are frankly pathetic.
If Republicans had any ideas at all on how to aid Americans at their time of need — a situation that arrived through no fault of their own (at least if they followed COVID safety protocols) — they have yet to present them.
Instead, they reflexively oppose every relief measure proposed by Democrats purely out of political rancor and take a position of every person for themselves.
Not surprising for a party that doesn’t believe in the efficacy of government and tries to prove it by massively mismanaging the country whenever they are able to take control of it.
You can watch an excerpt of Senator Tom Cotton’s appearance on Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace below.
Original reporting by David Edwards at Raw Story.
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Vinnie Longobardo is a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile & internet industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business. His passions are politics, music and art.