The $2000 Check Conversations Trapped Joe Biden, Too.
He doesn’t seem all that interested in getting the American people this money, and I can’t say I’m surprised.
After the passage of the coronavirus relief bill, pressure has ramped up for congress to deliver on $2000 checks for the American people after lawmakers like Bernie Sanders and Ed Markey joined Donald Trump’s calls to send out more money. While virtually everyone is in agreement that the conversation surrounding these checks has certainly backed Senator Mitch McConnell into a corner ahead of the Georgia runoff election that will determine which party controls the Senate, another lawmaker who seems to be thoroughly unimpressed and uninterested in the conversation is none other than President-Elect Joe Biden.
Recently, a six second video clip of Biden has been circulating around Twitter, in which a reporter can be heard asking if he supports the $2000 stimulus checks as Biden leaves the podium. Without even turning around to look at the reporter, Biden calls back with a simple and thoroughly uninterested: “yes”.
Tens of millions of people are unemployed, wondering how they’re going to put food on the table for their children and pay the thousands of dollars worth of back rent that they owe. These checks are no longer about stimulus, it’s about survival, and Biden couldn’t even bother turning around to show the camera his face or come up with a full sentence when asked if he thought the American people should get these checks. While loyal Democratic voters might dismiss it and insist that his answer of “yes” was all they needed as evidence that the man they voted for supports these checks, it’s worth noting that Joe Biden has not expressed his desire to get this money to the American people on social media once since this entire conversation started, either. In fact, the pitiful answer to the reporter was the only supposed public “support” he has expressed at all.
Likely, because he doesn’t actually support these checks at all.
McConnell and Senate Republicans may have been trapped by this conversation, but it appears as though Biden was too. After all, though his team denies it, Biden was reportedly behind the scenes privately pushing Democratic lawmakers to accept a much smaller coronavirus relief bill during negotiations, and his conversations surrounding how he will tackle the response to the pandemic rarely if ever seem to focus on sending direct relief to the American people. All things considered, Biden’s rushed and irritable “yes” when asked if he supports these checks seem to indicate that he does not actually support them, and is instead merely angry that politics in general demand he even has to pretend to want this money sent to the people.
That “yes” was not genuine support, but seemed instead to be frustration that Bernie Sanders, Ed Markey, and others calling for them are making him look bad in comparison. At the heart of it, he knows that if these checks are passed, the American people are going to expect more from him, and to see the Democratic party actually stand up to the Republicans on behalf of the people they have been elected to represent. Can we really be surprised he finds this frustrating as opposed to a useful way to get the Republicans to bend and help the people all at once, considering how his team has been pushing for austerity since before he was even elected? Biden has made clear from the very beginning that “nothing will fundamentally change” under his leadership, so why would he want the American people to get the help they deserve?
If nothing else, it’s at least nice to know that Biden can feel the pressure.