Specifically, Democrats want to highlight increased health spending and the new child tax credit that started hitting parents’ bank accounts in July, both of which Democrats included in the $2 trillion pandemic relief package passed in March on a party-line vote. Democrats plan to tout the monthly child tax credit of up to $300 as “a tax cut for middle-class families” that will touch tens of millions of families. Anecdotally, the new credit is already transforming lives, and Democrats hope to make it permanent in their upcoming Democrats-only jobs/infrastructure bill.
Other policies specifically mentioned in the memo include extra subsidies for health care coverage provided by the American Rescue Plan, accelerated job growth over the past several months, and Democratic efforts to lower prescription drug costs.
Democrats’ message will be helped by the fact that not a single Republican voted for coronavirus relief that helped spur job growth, accelerate vaccinations, lower taxes, and provide much-needed relief to many Americans still struggling to get through the pandemic.
“This August, Democrats across the country will make sure that voters know that the ‘D’ in Democrat stands for ‘deliver’ by highlighting the contrast between the parties on three central areas — all of which are helping Americans get back to work and back on their feet after the pandemic,” says the memo.
Democrats have a good message to sell, and they may yet succeed in topping off their successes to date with two more historic investments in the nation: the $1 trillion bipartisan deal along with a $3 trillion Democrats-only jobs and infrastructure bill.
But policy alone may not prove enough to secure an election that could be marred by GOP-lead voter suppression and impending gerrymandering. The voting rights compromise currently being crafted in the Senate with the help of Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia is essential, and yet it’s still entirely likely that it may not come soon enough, or even at all. In fact, delaying the August recess to try to deliver a voting rights bill would arguably have been much more important to keeping Democratic majorities—not to mention saving democracy—than any messaging strategy.