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The DNC Sure Does Have a Pretty Selective Narrative on this One-Year Anniversary of American Rescue Plan Act

AP Photo/Susan Walsh

On March 11, 2021, President Joe Biden signed the partisan American Rescue Plan Act into law, which included a $1.9 trillion price tag and billed itself as bringing about COVID relief, but which more so served as another spending bill. 

The DNC was quick to celebrate the anniversary of the bill's passage, one year later on Friday. As a way to celebrate what the Democratic Party sees as successes, a statement from Chairman Jaime Harrison claimed:

“This piece of legislation delivered funding for vaccines, put money directly in peoples’ pockets, and provided much-needed relief to communities across the nation.

“One year later, the results speak for themselves. 216 million Americans are vaccinated. 2021 was a record year for job growth, and our country saw a historic economic recovery. Schools were able to safely reopen. Health care premiums are lower.

“The positive impacts of this legislation go on and on. Because of Democratic leadership, fewer families have lost loved ones, more people have jobs, and our country is in a much better place.

“It’s also important to remember — as we see Republicans across the country happily accept ARP funds and tout programs funded by ARP — that not a single Republican voted for the American Rescue Plan.

“They want the credit, but they don’t want to do the work.

“Democrats do the work — we get results. We will continue fighting to bring down costs and address the needs of everyday Americans.” 

The statement not only tried to claim Republicans were attempting to take credit, but a subsequent press release touted the astounding maturity that went into sending Republican governors cookie cakes. The cakes read "said No, Took the Dough."

The cakes were sent to Govs. Ron DeSantis (FL), Brian Kemp (GA), Chris Sununu (NH), and Kim Reynolds (IA).

Also included was yet another, even more bold statement from Harrison than the one before. 

"One year ago today, President Joe Biden signed Democrats’ American Rescue Plan into law, which provided communities across the country with the resources they needed to combat the COVID-19 pandemic," Harrison said. "Every day until November, Republicans will have to answer for why, when Americans needed them most, they opposed reopening our schools, hiring back police officers, lowering health insurance premiums, getting 7 million Americans back to work, and returning back to normal after a pandemic."

When it comes to counting down to November, and "hav[ing] to answer for why," Democrats are likely those who should be scared. Polling for President Joe Biden, as well as the Democratic Party as a whole, is atrocious. 

As Guy covered earlier on Friday, a survey from the Wall Street Journal has disastrous results. Biden has a 42 percent approval rating among registered voters, and a 57 percent disapproval rating. Further, Republicans have an advantage on the generic congressional ballot, 46 to 41 percent. 

Yet as I covered last night, Biden is still portraying his party as the one with an advantage leading up to the midterms. 

RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel also responded to the anniversary. "Americans are not better off under Biden. It’s no coincidence that on the anniversary of Biden’s wasteful $2 trillion stimulus, Americans are experiencing the highest inflation in 40 years. Voters will remember the failed agenda of Biden and the Democrats that caused skyrocketing prices, declining real wages, and pain at the pump," she said, mentioning a host of key issues that Harrison and the Democrats purposefully neglected to address in celebrating the law.

It's no wonder that Harrison didn't feel comfortable referencing inflation, which is indeed at its highest since 1982. As Katie covered just on Thursday morning, inflation hit 7.9 percent in February, and it's expected to continue rising. 

As a write-up from the Wall Street Journal noted about the survey:

A majority of voters, 63%, said they disapproved of Mr. Biden’s handling of rising costs, the president’s worst rating on six policy issues surveyed in the poll. Meanwhile, 47% of voters said Republicans were better able to handle inflation, compared with 30% who preferred Democrats.

Underscoring the political problem for Democrats: More voters said that Republicans had a better plan to improve the economy...

Previous polls have similarly shown Americans are displeased with how Biden is handling the issue, which, again, spells big trouble for the president and his party, considering polls also show it's a major issue for them. 

Another reason why Harrison's statements may not have referenced inflation is because the American Rescue Plan Act actually worsened inflation, which I had also covered last November. It's clearly not getting any better, especially when it comes to the gaslighting about it.

Economist Larry Summers, who served as the Treasury Secretary under Bill Clinton and was economic advisor to Barack Obama, was one such figure who warned about inflation, and whose warnings went unheeded. 

The RNC further highlighted how the legislation has led to higher inflation, which included explaining that inflation has outpaced wages every month since the bill was passed. 

Last November, another Obama economic advisor, Steven Rattner, had a blistering opinion guest essay published in The New York Times, "I Warned the Democrats About Inflation."

On Thursday morning, shortly after the inflation rate for February was revealed, Rattner tweeted "This is Biden's inflation and he needs to own it."

Even Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen acknowledged that the legislation was "factors that are involved in inflation." And President Biden himself, also last November, conceded that the stimulus checks led to higher inflation, but tried to dismiss it by claiming "people have more money now."

Despite such a concession, four months later, on this Friday morning, the anniversary of the law going into effect, Biden ranted and raved about his frustration over inflation. As Katie covered earlier, the president took issue with the American people understanding inflation as they do during a winter retreat for House Democrats in Philadelphia. 

Harrison may claim as much as he wants that "our country is in a much better place," but it can't be emphasized enough that the American people do not agree with him. 

According to the RealClearPolitics (RCP) average of polls from February 15-March 8, 29.3 percent of respondents say the country is going in the right direction, while 62.4 percent say it's on the wrong track. 


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