ICYMI -- NBC News: Republicans Trumpet Elements of Covid-19 Relief Bill They Voted Against

April 1, 2021
Republicans Vote No, Take the Dough

Congressional Republicans have been caught red-handed promoting the American Rescue Plan they voted unanimously against.  Reps. Madison Cawthorn, Glenn Grothman, Lee Zeldin are the latest Republicans busted for ‘voting no but taking the dough.’

It’s no wonder Congressional Republicans want to take credit for the American Rescue Plan since it’s delivering for their constituents every day by getting vaccines in arms, money in pockets, children back in school safely, and people back in jobs.  But it’s too late for them to walk back their unanimous opposition to the legislation, as NBC News and others are calling them on their hypocrisy.

Key points from NBC’s story on the accusations of “hypocrisy” ahead for GOP Members claiming credit for the Rescue Plan:

Republicans trumpet elements of Covid-19 relief bill they voted against

Allan Smith and Sahil Kapur

  • Congressional Republicans are walking a tightrope between promoting parts of President Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion economic relief package that are popular with their voters — while also bashing the overall law as a costly boondoggle.
  • "Happy to announce that NC-11 was awarded grants from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services," Rep. Madison Cawthorn, R-N.C., tweeted Tuesday, pointing to millions of dollars that went to health care providers in his district. "Proud to see tax-payer dollars returned to NC-11."

The law, which got no Republican votes in the House or the Senate, has the support of about a quarter of self-identified Republicans, and it enjoys more than 2-to-1 approval from Americans overall, according to a recent Economist/YouGov poll.

Cawthorn, 25, who counts himself among the party's more Trumpian wing, voted against the American Rescue Plan, which provided the funding he promoted.

"Come'on man," Democratic National Committee Chair Jaime Harrison tweeted. "@RepCawthorn is trying to take credit for the grants HE VOTED AGAINST. Republicans have no shame."

  • Cawthorn's posts followed similar tweets and statements from other elected Republicans, such as Sen. Roger Wicker of Mississippi, who drew attention weeks ago when he praised the part of the stimulus package that provided billions of dollars to restaurateurs.
  • Yet passage of the bill has correlated with an increase in Biden's approval of his handling of the pandemic. A poll released Wednesday by The Associated Press found Biden with 73 percent approval of his Covid-19 efforts and 60 percent approval on the economy — up since he signed the law. And a recent ABC News/Ipsos poll found that 72 percent of Americans approve of Biden's response to the coronavirus — 4 points higher than in early March, before he signed it. The poll found that 60 percent approve of his handling of the economic recovery.
  • Meanwhile, Democratic leaders have been taunting Republicans with headlines from news outlets in their districts detailing stimulus dollars that headed to their communities.

The office of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., put out one such release Wednesday, pointing to a headline in The Bakersfield Californian — a major newspaper in House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy's district — that mentioned the hundreds of millions of dollars Kern County was set to receive.

"Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy bet his house on House Republicans' unanimous opposition to an overwhelmingly popular, bipartisan rescue plan to put vaccines in arms, money in pockets, children back in school safely, and people back in jobs," the statement read. "And his members have been hearing about it back home. Now he can tell them he feels their pain."