Debbie Stabenow Doesn't Know How GOP Senators' Vote Against Stimulus Bill Is a Winning Message

Following Saturday's Senate vote to pass President Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion COVID relief package, Democratic Michigan Senator Debbie Stabenow criticized her Republican colleagues who voted against the package—given its bipartisan popularity and the ways it helps so many Americans.

In an interview with MSNBC, Stabenow was asked whether she was disappointed that the votes fell on party lines and no Republicans broke from their party to join their colleagues across the aisle and back the stimulus bill.

The Michigan Democrat noted the bill's popularity across the country, regardless of political affiliation.

"The most important thing is that it's bipartisan in the country. When we have over 75 percent of the American people—of all walks of life, all parties and political persuasions—saying: 'Yes, my family needs help. I want to make sure my kids are safe in school. I want to make sure we get the vaccines we need.' That's the real test of bipartisanship."

Demonstrating issues with voting along party lines on the bill, Stabenow pointed towards amendments filed by some of the Republican senators designed to cut the the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (better known as WIC). She said that it was "literally taking food out of mouths of babies."

Stabenow also pointed to efforts to cut back on assistance for farmers, small businesses and unemployed citizens, and provide less support for schools.

"I find it stunning that they're going to be able to go home and say that what they wanted to do was to give you less help, less checks in their pockets, less opportunity to get vaccines so you can be safe and so your family can be safe," she said. "I don't know how that is a winning message, but I can tell you, I'm glad I'm not going to be the one trying to have to sell that."

The vote to pass the stimulus comes after Democrats compromised and lowered unemployment benefits from an additional $400 through August to a $300 payment, which will continue until the end of September.

Other aspects of the revised bill included reducing the cutoff point for the stimulus checks to still receive some aid from $100,000 to $80,000. Individuals earning up to $75,000 and joint filings up to $150,000 per year will still be eligible for the full $1,400 stimulus check. The Child Tax Credit also increased from $2,000 to $3,000 for children under 17.

Despite Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders' efforts to include an amendment in the package that would increase federal minimum wage to $15 per hour, it did not receive the majority of votes needed on Friday.

Newsweek reached out to contacts for Stabenow for comment.

Debbie Stabenow Finance
Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) at the Senate Finance Committee hearing at the US Capitol on February 25, 2021 in Washington, DC. Katherine Tai is President Joe Bidens pick for US Trade Representative. Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images