ABC, CBS Suggest Relief Bill ‘Infuriating Republicans’ Because It Helps People

Each of the big three broadcast networks kicked off their Wednesday evening newscasts by trumpeting the Democratic-controlled House for passing the COVID relief bill, in spite of Republican opposition to the wasteful pork spending. But instead of admitting to viewers the fact that the bill contained billions for non-relief and non-recovery efforts, ABC’s World News Tonight and CBS Evening News chose to lash out at congressional Republicans by suggesting relief provisions were “infuriating” them.

 “The bill includes billions for small businesses, extends federal unemployment benefits at $300 a week through September, and lowers health care premiums for millions of Americans on ObamaCare,” announced ABC congressional correspondent Rachel Scott. “Also included, $350 billion in aid to state and local governments…”

But instead of informing viewers of the fact no state had any budget shortfalls in 2020, Scott scoffed at criticism of the spending and said it was “infuriating Republicans.” As usual, ABC refused to put the Republican position in context.

And in leading into the segment, anchor David Muir framed the situation as Republicans purely standing against President Biden’s effort to help struggling Americans:

With $1,400 checks for most Americans and new unemployment benefits just as an earlier round was set to run out. Lowering the cost of health insurance if you are on Obamacare. And President Biden telling the American people today, “help is here.”

The measures clearing the House. Not one Republican voting for the bill, though the President is aware of the polling, showing American voters by a large majority support this effort.

 

 

There was a similar effort to frame the story that way on by CBS anchor Norah O’Donnell. “Most Americans will receive $1,400. We’ll answer some of your big questions: When will you get that money? What else is included? And why not a single Republican voted for it,” she questioned in her opening tease.

O’Donnell also refused to give the proper context and focus pertaining to the GOP’s criticisms of segments of the overall bill, while making overly simplistic explanations like this: “As we come on the air, the White House is celebrating the new president’s first legislative victory, while Republicans are lambasting it as wasteful spending that will further inflate the national debt.”

In reality, congressional Republicans took issue with the fact that the bill threw more money at certain pandemic programs that still had unspent funds from the last relief bill passed in December measuring in the billions. That’s not to mention the other funds that would not be spent until 2022.

But that didn’t stop congressional correspondent Kris Van Cleave from chiding the Republican perspective. “But Republicans in Congress continue to rail against it, arguing nearly $400 billion in aid for transit agencies, states, and local governments, as well as $86 billion to bail out pension funds, is not COVID related,” he scoffed.

Van Cleave never explained how either of those things were COVID-related.

As for NBC Nightly News’s part, they celebrated the passage of the bill but didn’t take the same kind of shots at Republicans the others did. They were more focused on building up Biden.

This intentional mischaracterization and smears of the Republican position was made possible because of lucrative sponsorships from Procter & Gamble on ABC and Liberty Mutual on CBS. Their contact information is linked so you can tell them about the biased news they fund. CBS Evening News has also asked people to text their thoughts to O’Donnell to this number: (202) 217-1107.

The transcripts are below, click “expand” to read:

ABC’s World News Tonight
March 10, 2021
6:32:51 p.m. Eastern

(…)

DAVID MUIR: With $1,400 checks for most Americans and new unemployment benefits just as an earlier round was set to run out. Lowering the cost of health insurance if you are on Obamacare. And President Biden telling the American people today, “help is here.”

The measures clearing the House. Not one Republican voting for the bill, though the President is aware of the polling, showing American voters by a large majority support this effort. Democratic leaders from the Senate and the House signing the act before sending it to the President. The President speaking of that support across the country, saying the relief bill passed with the support of, quote, “an overwhelming percentage of Americans, Democrats, independents and Republicans.”

(…)

6:35:07 p.m. Eastern

RACHEL SCOTT: The bill includes billions for small businesses, extends federal unemployment benefits at $300 a week through September, and lowers health care premiums for millions of Americans on ObamaCare.

A 64-year-old making $58,000 would see their monthly premium payments drop from around $1,000 to $400.

Also included, $350 billion in aid to state and local governments, infuriating Republicans.

REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R-CA): It’s a laundry list of left wing priorities that predate the pandemic.

(…)

CBS Evening News
March 10, 2021
6:30:20 p.m. Eastern [Opening tease]

NORAH O’DONNELL: Tonight, the nearly $2 trillion COVID relief plan is headed to President Biden’s desk, and the news that the largest stimulus check ever might be headed your way.

Most Americans will receive $1,400. We’ll answer some of your big questions: When will you get that money? What else is included? And why not a single Republican voted for it?

(…)

6:32:22 p.m. Eastern

O’DONNELL: The scope of the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, which takes up more than 600 printed pages, is unprecedented.

In the coming weeks, tens of millions of Americans will receive $1,400 stimulus checks, unemployment benefits will be expanded, and the cost of health insurance under ObamaCare lowered. Analysts say the bill, which passed without a single Republican vote, will also dramatically cut poverty nationwide, funding programs for food aid and housing assistance, and offering tax credits for children.

As we come on the air, the White House is celebrating the new president’s first legislative victory, while Republicans are lambasting it as wasteful spending that will further inflate the national debt.

(…)

6:34:48 p.m. Eastern

KRIS VAN CLEAVE: 70 percent of Americans support the COVID relief bill, including 41 percent of Republicans.

PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: This bill represents a historic, historic victory for the American people. I look forward to signing it later this week.

VAN CLEAVE: But Republicans in Congress continue to rail against it, arguing nearly $400 billion in aid for transit agencies, states, and local governments, as well as $86 billion to bail out pension funds, is not COVID related.

REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R-CA): It isn’t a relief bill. It’s a laundry list of left-wing priorities that predate the pandemic and do not meet the need of the American families.

(…)

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