Bait and switch? After promising Georgia voters $2,000 in COVID relief, Biden now offers $1,400
"Biden is bucking his promises from the campaign trail and ruling on behalf of liberal elites and special interests — not the American people,” said RNC National Press Secretary Mandi Merritt.
The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook
- Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) told Washington Post.
- Jayapal tweet
- Business Insider
- Ronna McDaniel on Fox News Monday
Prior to his inauguration, Joe Biden promised Georgia voters last month during the heat of the state's two closely contested Senate races that he'd get them $2,000 for pandemic relief.
Now that he's been sworn in as president, he's dropped that figure to $1,400, leading both Democrats and Republicans to accuse him of breaking his promise.
In a Jan. 4 speech, Biden said, "If you send Jon [Ossoff] and the Reverend [Raphael Warnock] to Washington, those $2,000 checks will go out the door, restoring hope and decency and honor for so many people struggling right now."
Now, just weeks after the two Democrats' victories, Biden has proposed a $1.9 trillion stimulus plan in which eligible Americans will receive just $1,400 each. Biden's justification is that this is tagged onto the $600 sent by the Trump administration in December, for a combined total of $2,000.
The $1,400 payment, Biden said, would "finish the job" started by Trump, but Biden's plan swiftly drew bipartisan criticism as a broken promise.
"$2,000 means $2,000," Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) told The Washington Post. "$2,000 does not mean $1,400."
Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), chair of the House Progressive Caucus, agreed.
"We have to deliver $2,000 survival checks to the American people," Jayapal tweeted on Jan. 14. "Not anything less."
The Biden White House press office did not respond to a request for comment from Just the News.
Providing most Americans with an additional $2,000 in stimulus money was something that then-President Trump pushed for heavily during the Georgia Senate runoffs, clashing with Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who said it was too expensive. Trump blamed McConnell for not providing more relief, and McConnell blamed Trump for pushing the more expensive plan and making the GOP look stingy.
The GOP lost its majority in the Senate after failing to hold either of its seats in the Georgia runoff elections on Jan. 5, "and the efforts of GOP leaders to block $2,000 stimulus checks most likely had a part to play," wrote Business Insider's Mia Jankowicz, expressing a view widely shared in political circles.
"Add this to the long list of things Joe Biden has lied about," said Republican National Committee National Press Secretary Mandi Merritt in an email Monday. "From claiming to have a coronavirus plan, to lying about his support for oil and gas workers, to ignoring his promises for COVID relief, Joe Biden is bucking his promises from the campaign trail and ruling on behalf of liberal elites and special interests — not the American people."
GOP Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel told Fox News Monday that she thinks "there's buyer's remorse" among Biden voters as people "who thought he was going to protect union jobs, who thought he was going to get $2,000 in stimulus checks in their hands, who thought he had a plan for Covid relief are realizing it was all smoke and mirrors and that the Trump administration was actually getting these things done."
However, not all Republicans are pleased with the notion of handing out more money, amid concerns about ballooning public debts and deficits. Former GOP Congressman Dave Brat, for example, told Just the News Monday he prefers targeted Covid relief to "widespread checks."
"This is a terrible issue because the federal government shut the economy down by fiat and so many people are suffering because of that error," Brat explained. "But I do think it is probably time to start tapering things down and getting really targeted toward those who lose their jobs etc."