Biden and advisers insist they would prefer Republican cooperation on the $1.9 trillion legislation, which calls for direct checks, money for school reopenings and funds for a robust vaccine effort. But their eyes have also started to drift toward what comes after the package becomes law: a major political undertaking to cement the bill’s popularity among voters.
The effort will include a giant outreach effort touting the package’s benefits as well as pledges from the Democratic House and Senate campaign arms to promote it in their own messaging. The Democratic National Committee, working with state parties across battlegrounds, is mobilizing to highlight Biden’s legislation as helping to save lives and create jobs, which officials expect to ramp up in the coming months.
White House officials are sorely aware of past administrations’ track records in their first midterms and view the Covid relief measure as foundational in a two-year battle that will determine the fate of Democrats’ slim majorities, as well as the other elements of Biden’s ambitious agenda on Capitol Hill.