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Gang of Collins offers Biden a one-term presidency

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This is a hard pass:

Ten Republican senators wrote to President Biden on Sunday, outlining a framework for coronavirus relief legislation and pushing for Mr. Biden to compromise. The letter came as Democrats were preparing to bypass the need for Republican support in order to deliver a sweeping relief package.

The 10 senators, led by Susan Collins of Maine, proposed a framework that includes some of the provisions in Mr. Biden’s $1.9 trillion plan but would curtail others, including eligibility for direct payments and unemployment aid. It would include $160 billion for vaccine distribution and development, Covid testing and the production of personal protective equipment, along with relief for schools, small businesses and “more targeted assistance” for individuals.

“Our proposal reflects many of your stated priorities, and with your support, we believe that this plan could be approved quickly by Congress with bipartisan support,” the senators wrote.

The group, which also includes Mitt Romney of Utah, Michael Rounds of South Dakota, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, is expected to release additional details of their proposal on Monday.

One of the signers, Senator Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, said on “Fox News Sunday” that he expected the Republican package to total about $600 billion, roughly one-third of what Mr. Biden has proposed.

Another, Rob Portman of Ohio, called for a smaller stimulus package that would limit direct payments so that they would not go to Americans earning more than $50,000 a year or to families with a combined income exceeding $100,000.

The play here is clear: exclude enough people from the $2,000 checks promised by Democrats to make enough marginal supporters feel Democrats have betrayed their promise, and provide some relief but not enough to lead to a real recovery. (I will be that what the proposed package will offer in terms of state and local aid will include somewhere between “not nearly enough” and “nothing.”)

Note with some amusement as well that even this inadequate offer is apparently too much for America’s Most Populist Senator, Comrade Stanford Yale Hawley Esq.

Anyway, what the Gang of Collins is proposing is the stimulus formula that helped cause the Democrats to get wiped out in 2010. Fortunately, Senate Dems seem to have figured out the bipartisanship scam:

Democrats are haunted by legislative memories of 2009 as they fashion their response to the multiple crises of 2021.

Their strategy for addressing the coronavirus pandemic and its accompanying economic havoc is being shaped by what they see as their own miscalculations 12 years ago when Barack Obama became president, they controlled both houses of Congress and they tackled both an economic rescue package and a sweeping health care overhaul.

In retrospect, in the quest to win Republican backing for both, Democrats say, they settled for too small an economic stimulus and extended talks on the health care measure for too long. Those experiences explain why the White House and top Democrats are determined to move quickly this time on a plan for pandemic aid, and why they are reluctant to pare back their nearly $2 trillion stimulus package or make significant changes that would dilute it with no certainty of bringing Republicans on board.

“The dangers of undershooting our response are far greater than overshooting,” said Senator Chuck Schumer, Democrat of New York and the new majority leader. “We should have learned the lesson of 2008 and 2009, when Congress was too timid and constrained in its response to the financial crisis.”

Our Democrats, in both the Senate and the White House, are Getting It:

The state of the economy in 2022 is vastly more important to the midterm elections that whether Susan Collins has a sad.

…via Carriere in comments, the Gang of Collins plan would not only cut most of the state and local aid, it would reduce the size of the checks, ensuring that Democrats would not be fulfilling their promise to anyone. I don’t think you need to be a sophisticated game theorist to understand that this shouldn’t be given a second’s consideration:

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