The House is getting set to vote on President Biden’s massive COVID Aid package on Wednesday. Officially known as the “American Rescue Plan,” the $1.9 trillion bill aims to deliver some of the most ambitious economic assistance in history. From $1,400 direct payments, to federal unemployment benefits, and less expensive ACA plans, it generates rapid aid that will land in the pockets of many of America’s most needy citizens. It also happens to be popular with democrat and republican voters, as polls such as this one from Morning Consult/Politico shows.

So why are some news stories framing it as a huge political gamble?

Or this USA Today story, which suggests getting President Biden’s COVID relief bill passed without a single Republican vote undermines his campaign promise of bringing bipartisanship back to Washington.

According to those stories, Biden is throwing away any chance at finding bipartisan accord with Republicans to score an early victory with the relief bill. That seems remarkably short-sighted, for a number of reasons. First, the President’s efforts, and those of his Democratic congressional counterparts, to find legislative middle ground have been rebuffed by GOP lawmakers. And Biden had always said ending the pandemic and helping people get back on their feet was a priority for his administration.

Secondly, the COVID-19 relief package is one of the most ambitious, and progressive, legislative bills in history. It brings one of the biggest safety net expenditures in decades, along with extended unemployment benefits, billions of dollars in rental assistance funds, as well as billions to aid local school and to help distribute the coronavirus vaccines…those are just some of the ways the plan will help the American people. That’s the headline.

As Eric Boehlert’s media-focused newsletter, PressRun, notes, shouldn’t reporters be asking why those members of Congress aren’t voting for a bill that according to some polls, has 70% support among Republicans? Boehlert sees the current coverage of Biden’s relief bill as a continuation of what he says is the media’s tendency to be fooled by the GOP’s legislative stance.

Detailing the GOP’s deeply radical and dangerous tendencies is not a story the press wants to dwell on. That’s a key reason the media screwed up Covid relief coverage for the last twelve months, constantly presenting a false picture of legislative negotiations, told through the prism of the GOP.

Bipartisanship was a Biden campaign promise. But it takes two to tango, as they say. Should a bill offering that kind of necessary assistance failed simply because not a single Republican in either the House or Senate decided not to vote for it?

Shouldn’t reporters be focused on asking those republicans why they couldn’t bring themselves to vote for the bill, instead of wondering about Biden blowing his chance at resuming Beltway Bipartisanship

Perhaps it’s best left to the American people to answer.

*This post contains opinion & analysis