As The Hill reported last week, since the passage and signing into law of the American Rescue Plan, the historic $1.9 trillion economic relief package that many of you are already seeing in your bank accounts today, some Republicans who voted against the plan–and remember, that’s every single Republican in the U.S. House and Senate–have suddenly found things to like well enough to celebrate with their constituents, in a way that looks an awful lot like, well, taking credit for a bill they opposed:
Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) on Wednesday applauded a portion of the American Rescue Plan that provides relief for restaurants after he voted against the COVID-19 relief bill as a whole.
Wicker in a tweet celebrated that Congress approved a $28.6 billion grant program for the restaurant and bar industry as part of the $1.9 trillion relief bill. He and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) proposed an amendment including the funding.
In a tweet, the senator said that “independent restaurant operators have won $28.6 billion worth of targeted relief” through the passage of the American Rescue Plan.
“This funding will ensure small businesses can survive the pandemic by helping to adapt their operations and keep their employees on the payroll,” Wicker added.
The problem, of course, is that even though Sen. Roger Wicker proposed this amendment that was successfully adopted by Democrats, he voted against the final bill along with every other Republican. Back in 2004, then-Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry was intensely ridiculed for claiming he “actually did vote for the $87 billion before I voted against it” in a similar situation with military funding for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. This is most certainly on the same order of lampoonability.
But at least in Sen. Wicker’s case, he was able to say he supported this individual amendment if not the whole bill. In the case of Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado? Once again, her audacity knocks you back for a moment like the recoil from a hand cannon:
The framing of stimulus checks is all wrong.
This is not $1,400 dollars being given to you by your generous government.
This is money that you and your fellow countrymen already paid into the system.
— Lauren Boebert (@laurenboebert) March 12, 2021
Help us out here, folks. If the $1,400 stimulus check you either just got or are getting soon is “money that you and your fellow countrymen already paid into the system,” why the hell did Boebert vote against letting you have it back? It’s a dubious characterization of money that arguably has not been paid into the system, or even earned yet by those who will ultimately pay–or as proponents argue will return dividends in the long term that make this short-term zero-sum quantification meaningless. But by Boebert’s own interpretation, this relief is something she should have philosophically welcomed for her constituents.
After all, not everybody has access to extremely well-timed mileage reimbursements to make ends meet.
It’s clear from these developments that Republicans are struggling mightily with being on the wrong side of this enormously popular piece of legislation, and are looking for ways to glom on to the positive feelings now sweeping the country along with badly-needed economic assistance for hundreds of millions of Americans. All told, though, it would be better for Republicans to keep quiet. The hypocrisy is too much.
This is a payday Lauren Boebert didn’t want you to see.