Congressional Republicans are openly saying that they don’t want to pass legislation to help fix problems in the country because they believe that doing so would help President Joe Biden win reelection in November.
On Wednesday, Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa said he is not inclined to vote for a bill that would expand the child tax credit — which would help low-income families pay for their childrens’ expenses and could lift many out of poverty — because passing the bill would help Biden politically.
“Passing a tax bill that makes the president look good — mailing out checks before the election — means he could be re-elected, and then we won’t extend the 2017 tax cuts,” Grassley said, according to a tweet posted by NBC News reporter Sahil Kapur on Wednesday.
That statement comes after multiple GOP lawmakers said they won’t support a border security bill that a bipartisan group of U.S. senators is currently negotiating. The rationale these lawmakers gave is that securing the border would take away a major campaign issue that former President Donald Trump wants to run on in November.
“Let me tell you, I’m not willing to do too damn much right now to help a Democrat and to help Joe Biden’s approval rating,” Rep. Troy Nehls (R-TX) told CNN in January. “I will not help the Democrats try to improve this man’s dismal approval ratings. I’m not going to do it.”
Republican lawmakers have been demanding that Congress address border security before they would agree to Biden’s request for security funding for Ukraine and Israel. Yet now that a deal exists, Republicans are balking.
“Politics on this have changed,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell told Republican senators behind closed doors on Jan. 25, Punchbowl News reported, and referred to Trump as the nominee. “We don’t want to do anything to undermine him.”
According to CNN, Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) blamed the murky fate of the border security bill on Trump: “I think the border is a very important issue for Donald Trump. And the fact that he would communicate to Republican senators and congresspeople that he doesn’t want us to solve the border problem because he wants to blame Biden for it is … really appalling.”
“There are some folks without question that don’t want to get any solution to a problem because they think that might help the other side,” Romney told CNN, according to an article published on Jan. 18. “You think Donald Trump has influence on politics? Yeah.”
Romney isn’t the only Republican criticizing members of their own party over their border bill backtrack.
“It was the Republicans, I will remind you, that told Democrats months ago that if you want to try to get your Ukraine funding, you’re gonna have to take up the border issue. This is what we asked for, let’s take up what we asked for,” Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) told HuffPost’s Igor Bobic.
Democrats are slamming Republicans over their insistence that they won’t pass bills because doing so could help Biden politically.
“Republicans want to ‘fix’ the border but don’t want to pass a bill to do so because they want to attack Biden over it. AND now they don’t want to pass a tax cut for families because it’s an election year?” Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) tweeted on Wednesday. “This isn’t how we should be governing.”