GOP struggles to obstruct Biden as Americans demand survival checks
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (screengrab)

Capitol Hill Republicans are in a political bind as President Joe Biden prioritizes public policy outcomes over the optics of bipartisanship.

"Republicans are struggling to persuade voters to oppose President Biden's $1.9 trillion economic rescue plan, which enjoys strong, bipartisan support nationwide even as it is moving through Congress with just Democratic backing. Democrats who control the House are preparing to approve the package by the end of next week, with the Senate aiming to soon follow with its own party-line vote before unemployment benefits are set to lapse in mid-March," The New York Times reported Friday.

"Republican leaders, searching for a way to derail the proposal, on Friday led a final attempt to tarnish the package, labeling it a 'payoff to progressives.' The bill, they said, spends too much and includes a liberal wish list of programs like aid to state and local governments — which they call a 'blue state bailout,' though many states facing shortfalls are controlled by Republicans — and increased benefits for the unemployed, which they argued would discourage people from looking for work," the newspaper reported.

"The arguments have so far failed to connect, in part because many of its core provisions poll strongly — even with Republicans," The Times explained. "More than 7 in 10 Americans now back Mr. Biden's aid package, according to new polling from the online research firm SurveyMonkey for The New York Times. That includes support from three-quarters of independent voters, 2 in 5 Republicans and nearly all Democrats. The overall support for the bill is even larger than the substantial majority of voters who said in January that they favored an end-of-year economic aid bill signed into law by President Donald J. Trump."