Both Democrats and Republicans want to show families in distress with rising prices or the 2-year-old Coronavirus pandemic.
It is not surprising that the parties have different ideas about how to do this. Each side outlined the themes it will use to garner support for this fall’s election for control of Congress in comments and votes in Senate.
Senator Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (Republican from Kentucky) discussed inflation and criticized President Joe Bidenand Democrats over policies like curbing drilling at federal lands, which he claimed were driving up gasoline costs. He also addressed culture war issues in America’s schools, such as mask mandates and social injustice instruction, which conservatives find objectionable.
McConnell stated that Republicans are “standing up for science and common sense, and for the best interests of children,” McConnell added. McConnell added that “the party of parents has our back”, a comment that provoked anger from fathers and mothers at school board meetings. This is a sentiment that the GOP hopes to harness.
He said, “Two years worth of unscientific forced child hiding and needless school closings are too many.”
Senator Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said that Democrats will be focusing on “solutions to lower costs and leave more money for people’s pockets.” He chimed with Republicans by saying, “Complaining about inflation doesn’t make it better. But proposing solutions does.”
Schumer stated that Democrats are looking at legislation to lower costs for child care, food and prescription drugs, as well as semiconductors, a vital component of the computer currently facing supply-chain shortages. Schumer stated that “we’re still going forward” despite the opposition from the GOP. This suggests that Democrats would be able to use unsuccessful Senate votes to their political advantage.
By the time November ballots are counted, the economy and pandemic may look very different. The Russian threat of invasion of Ukraine could have devastating repercussions.
Schumer’s party, however, is on the defensive for now.
As inflation rose to 7.5% per year, which is the highest rate in 40 years, they have ruled the White House as well as Congress. AAA reported that regular gasoline, which is a standard people can see and feel, was on average $3.53 per gallon last week. This is up from $2.58 a decade ago.
Communities in Democratic-led States like New York, California and California are relaxing mask mandates because people are becoming more irritated at the restrictions that have reshaped their lives with COVID-19.
A tiebreaking vote by Vice President Kamala Harris, which secured 50-50 Senate control for Democrats, has also put the Senate’s Democratic control at risk. Each party will have at least four seats up for grabs in November. However, Democrats are further burdened by Biden’s low approval ratings. They also face the long history of midterm elections losses suffered by the White House party.
Schumer admitted that Democrats “will not agree on everything” that they want to pursue. He noted that Democrats are yet to come together behind a proposal to suspending the federal gasoline tax at 18.4 cents per gallon for this year.
Sponsors claimed that the bill would provide “much-needed economic relief to families.” According to government estimates, an average driver could save about $100 per year based on their driving habits and vehicle gas mileage.
McConnell ridiculed it as a “bold and creative plan” that did little to help voters, while cutting federal funding for road projects. McConnell made it clear that he would not support it, which ensures it will fail.
The four most vulnerable incumbents in the Democratic Party are Sens. Mark Kelly of Arizona; Maggie Hassan in New Hampshire; Raphael Warnock from Georgia; Catherine Cortez Masto in Nevada.
“It’s an urgent cry for help,” No. John Thune, South Dakota’s Senate GOP leader, said about the Democrats’ gas tax plan. He stated that it showed they are “on the wrong side” of the energy issue and the wrong side for inflation.
Schumer stated that Democrats would support a bill setting a $35 per month price cap for insulin. This is a diabetes drug that can be expensive hundreds of thousands of dollars more. Warnock will offer it.
The party’s stagnant package for environment and social safety net expenditure included the insulin proposal. The measure has not gained much traction among a confused public about its potential benefits for their lives. Despite spending less time talking about it publicly, Democrats continue to engage in closed-door negotiations.
Schumer also called for a vote in February on legislation that explicitly codifies abortion rights. It is likely to be defeated by Republicans and possibly some Democrats. The vote could be used to mobilize voters for abortion rights in a year where the Supreme Court could overturn Roe v. Wade 1973, which declared the procedure constitutionally protected.
Yet, Republicans are doing more to get voters’ attention about social issues.
McConnell cited GOP favorites like accusing Democrats of being too soft on crime and “pandering at woke mobs”, while putting innocent victims at risk. However, Republicans are also grabbing onto COVID-19-era concerns.
Republicans voted on the repeal of federal COVID-19 mandates and student vaccine requirements. The Senate approved Thursday, a bill that would prevent a government shutdown.
Each amendment was opposed by every Democrat, and both were narrowly defeated. Democrats pointed out that testing, vaccines, and masks have been shown to save lives. Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), compared GOP opposition to these steps to “blaming a rescue crew for a sinking shipwreck.”
However, politicians and the public are growing impatient with restrictions on pandemics. Republicans warn that Democrats will be hurt if they continue to resist the relaxation of these curbs as the omicron wave recedes in the country.
Thune, of school masking mandates. “And I believe Democrats are beginning to hear that. “So I believe the politics of all these mandates are starting to change.”