With six months left before the congressional midterm elections in November, President Joe Biden is quietly working with the GOP and demonizing “ultra-MAGA” Republicans.
In recent days, Biden blasted Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., for his “Rescue America” plan which Biden labeled as the “ultra-MAGA agenda,” while also yielding to Republican requests to decouple additional Ukrainian aid from a COVID-19 funding package.
Claiming that his economic plan will continue to grow the economy “from the bottom up and the middle out,” Biden attacked Scott’s proposal that requires programs like Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security to be reauthorized by Congress every five years. The president also maintained that most Republican lawmakers are on board with Scott’s plan, despite stated opposition from Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and others.
“Really, ask yourself: How well are we going to sleep at night knowing that every five years, MAGA Republicans, if they’re still the Republican — as I said, this is not your father’s Republican Party — if we’re going to have to vote on whether you will have Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, and what amounts you’ll have in each of those programs?” Biden asked. “I can’t believe that the majority of Republicans buy on to Scott’s plan. But that’s a plan in writing, and he’s in the leadership.”
On Tuesday, the House approved nearly $40 billion in supplemental Ukrainian aid, after Biden conceded to McConnell’s request to separate the foreign aid package from coronavirus funding.
“I had a chance to call the president last week and request that the Ukraine package move by itself and quickly,” McConnell said.
The Washington Examiner reports that Biden initially told Congress he wanted to see action on the COVID-19 funding as part of the Ukraine aid package.
“However, I have been informed by congressional leaders in both parties that such an addition would slow down action on the urgently needed Ukrainian aid — a view expressed strongly by several congressional Republicans,” Biden said. “We cannot afford delay in this vital war effort. Hence, I am prepared to accept that these two measures move separately, so that the Ukrainian aid bill can get to my desk right away.”
According to the Examiner, the measure passed by the House is larger than what Biden originally requested and contains nearly $4 billion more in humanitarian aid. All 57 votes against the bill came from Republicans.
Senate Republicans are also preparing to cut a potential deal with Democrats on the coronavirus package, Politico reports.
Sens. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., and Patty Murray, D-Wash., told Politico that a Republican-requested vote on reversing Biden’s move to end Title 42 would be worth it if the GOP agrees to move forward on the stalled $10 billion coronavirus aid deal.
A Trump-era health policy, Title 42 allows for the immediate expulsion of asylum-seekers at the southern border.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki declined to comment on whether Biden would keep Title 42 in place in exchange for more COVID-19 funds, according to the Examiner.
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