Perhaps greater than any current president, Mr. Biden has staked his repute and the fortunes of his administration on his means to work with a polarized Congress the place Democrats have solely the slimmest margins of management. Despite the current historical past of legislative inertia and poisonous politics, Mr. Biden has made it clear that he believes he can leverage his 36 years of expertise and relationships on Capitol Hill to work throughout the aisle and obtain the breakthroughs wanted to get the nation via its a number of crises — this “rare and difficult hour,” as he put it.
He instantly set about attempting to strengthen his bond with Republicans, inviting Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican chief who waited a month to acknowledge him as president, and Representative Kevin McCarthy of California, the highest House Republican who supported overturning his victory, to attend Mass with him Wednesday morning earlier than the inauguration.
Mr. McConnell, in a lighter post-inaugural second that served as a reminder of the clubby Washington circles in which the president has lengthy been snug, claimed Mr. Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris as a “son and daughter” of the Senate due to their service there, whereas wryly stating that neither had ever been a member of the House, a chamber senators like to deride because the lowlier physique. Ms. Harris acquired a bipartisan standing ovation in the Senate when she entered to preside for the primary time after her swearing-in as vp.
In his speech, Mr. Biden additionally reminded House and Senate members attending that he was considered one of them.
“Look, folks,” he stated, using considered one of his favourite expressions, “all my colleagues I served with in the House and the Senate up here — we all understand the world is watching, watching all of us today.”
But it’ll take greater than Mr. Biden’s trademark backslapping and good nature to interrupt via the persistent gridlock in Congress. Already, Republicans are mounting challenges to his cupboard nominees, and Mr. Biden practically turned the primary president since at the least Jimmy Carter to not win affirmation of a cupboard nominee throughout his first hours in workplace. At the final minute, Senator Tom Cotton, Republican of Arkansas, dropped his objection to the affirmation of Avril D. Haines to be the director of nationwide intelligence. Still, nominees for different nationwide safety posts which can be usually permitted instantly after a president takes workplace remained stalled.