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President Biden speaks to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell at inauguration. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Mike Donilon, senior adviser to President Biden, argues in a memo to White House senior staff that GOP opposition to the COVID rescue package would shrink the party's already declining national support.

What they're saying: "There seems to be a growing conventional wisdom that it is either politically smart — or, at worst, cost-free — for the GOP to adopt an obstructionist, partisan, base-politics posture," Donilon writes in the two-page memo, obtained by Axios. "However, there is lots of evidence that the opposite is true: ... this approach has been quite damaging to them."

Between the lines: The memo cites a Morning Consult poll showing a Biden approval rating of 62% with registered voters. Just 23% of registered voters think the Republican Party is going in the right direction, while 63% say the party is on the wrong track.

  • Other data points: Tens of thousands of Republicans across the country have switched party affiliation since the Capitol riot, the N.Y. Times reports. The Economist/YouGov polling finds a decline in voters calling themselves Republicans since November (from 42% to 37%).
  • "[Y]ou see a party shrinking its appeal in this country — not growing it," Donilon writes. "Opposing President Biden’s American Rescue Plan only exacerbates Republicans' predicament. ... [T]he GOP is putting itself at odds with a rescue package supported overwhelmingly by the American people."

Polls put support for Biden's American Rescue Plan at 68% (Quinnipiac) or more.

  • Donilon called opposition to the plan "politically isolating": "The country is looking for action. For progress. For solutions. On COVID. On the economy. You see it and hear it all over the country. Voters are hurting."

Read the memo.

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Go deeper

Biden explains justification for Syria strike in letter to Congress

Photo: Chris Kleponis/CNP/Bloomberg via Getty Images

President Biden told congressional leadership in a letter Saturday that this week's airstrike against facilities in Syria linked to Iranian-backed militia groups was consistent with the U.S. right to self-defense.

Why it matters: Some Democrats, including Sens. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.), have criticized the Biden administration for the strike and demanded a briefing.

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FDA authorizes Johnson & Johnson's one-shot COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use

Photo: Illustration by Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The Food and Drug Administration on Saturday issued an emergency use authorization for Johnson & Johnson's one-shot coronavirus vaccine.

Why it matters: The authorization of a third coronavirus vaccine in the U.S. will help speed up the vaccine rollout across the country, especially since the J&J shot only requires one dose as opposed to Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech's two-shot vaccines.

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Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios