Monday, March 8, 2021

How the American Rescue Plan is different from the CARES Act

Friday morning, Senate Majority Leader Schumer took issue with Republicans opposing the bill “because most of the measures in the bill are exactly the same ideas Republicans supported a year ago in the CARES Act (P.L. 116-136), which passed without a single dissenting Republican vote.” He cited several of those measures and said, “All of them were in the CARES Act,” and now the American Rescue Plan (H.R. 1319) “has the basic, same structure.”

What Schumer doesn't mention is that Republicans voted for the CARES Act on the basis of that being an extremely one-time exception to financial need in the country. They said at the time they had no intention of ever doing anything of the sort ever again, especially given that money appropriated from the previous much smaller bills already passed had not yet been spent.

Leader Schumer went on to ascribe motivation for Republican opposition saying, “now that a Democrat is in the White House, now that Democrats control the Senate, those same ideas, which they supported when Trump was President and McConnell was majority leader, are a liberal wish list—same ideas. Who the heck are they kidding? They have no good answer.”

These are not the “same ideas.” For the very reason he cites, “a Democrat is in the White House” and “Democrats control the Senate,” many of the policies he praised have taken on very different contours in this legislation.

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