Senator Rob Portman had no way of defending himself when faced with his flip-flop about using reconciliation to pass the stimulus on.
Given the hypocrisy that handing over Covid through reconciliation would "poison the source of bipartisanism" despite voting to pass Trump's tax cuts and repeal of ACA through reconciliation, Rob Portman really has no defense pic.twitter.com/ EvBfaN9Eu5
– Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) February 28, 2021
STEPHANOPOULOS: I would like to start with the COVID auxiliary bill. You said that going through the reconciliation process would poison the well of bipartisanism. But you voted to pass Trump's tax cuts and lift Obamacare through the reconciliation process. So why – why is it not right for the Democrats to do this now?
SEN. ROB PORTMAN (R-OH): George, we're just talking about difficulties getting these laws passed. The answer is simple: let's do it non-partisan. I mean, COVID aid has never been a partisan issue. As you know, in the last year we passed five bills with overwhelming bipartisan margins.
In fact, there is a group of us Republicans. I was one of ten Republicans who went to the president a few weeks ago and said let's negotiate. You know we've done this five times already, we can do it again.
So this is not like taxes or health care, but COVID relief, which has always been a non-partisan issue. Incidentally, as we have seen, it does not fit into the reconciliation, because it must be directly related to the budget, income or expenditure, which is why the minimum wage was rejected. Everyone knows that.
I haven't figured it out yet, but I think he should do what you did in the Clinton administration, what the Bush administration did, which is to start with more bipartisan action so we don't poison the well, with that we can continue to work together. If so, it would be very easy to get Republican support for a COVID relief package.
Portman had no defense for his previous hypocrisy and claims that COVID relief was not budget related, but the ACA's repeal was factually incorrect.
Senator Rob Portman is a hypocrite and his answer to the question was to complain that Joe Biden is not going to do what Republicans want.
The truth is that Biden could give Republicans anything they want and they are still voting against the bill. Congressional Republicans have been playing this game for years. They want to deny President Biden any success in order to help themselves regain power.
Rob Portman was unable to defend his previous votes, so he floated a non-partisan model that Republicans are actively sabotaging.
Mr. Easley is the Founder / Senior Editor, White House Press Pool, and a Congressional Correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a bachelor's degree in political science. His thesis focused on public order with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and professional memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and the American Political Science Association