President Joe Biden hosted his first assembly with Republican and Democratic management from the House and Senate since taking workplace on Wednesday, forward of a vital interval in Congress for his agenda on points like infrastructure, gun management and police reform.
The extremely anticipated sit-down on the White House, which lasted about 90 minutes, included Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who final week mentioned he was “100% focused on stopping” Biden’s administration, and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), a high ally of former President Donald Trump who voted to overturn Biden’s election in Congress.
The journey to the Oval Office for McCarthy and McConnell is the primary for the reason that president was inaugurated in January. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), who additionally attended, have beforehand met with Biden on the White House.
Biden has mentioned he wish to work with each events to repair the various points dealing with the nation, comparable to crumbling roads, bridges and waterways. But his plans to overtake the nation’s infrastructure and create jobs ― totaling over $4 trillion ― face fierce GOP opposition in Congress. Top Republican lawmakers reiterated this week that there are specific issues they gained’t settle for in any bipartisan deal: a tax enhance on companies and rich Americans.
“We are not interested in reopening the 2017 tax bill. That’s a red line,” McConnell mentioned Wednesday following the assembly with Biden.
For Democrats, who management each legislative chambers, reaching a bipartisan settlement is most well-liked, however not essentially required. The get together can muscle via an infrastructure invoice on a party-line vote with a easy majority within the Senate. But going alone has its dangers, together with getting each Democrat to agree what the invoice ought to embrace and methods to pay for it. Democrats within the House and Senate are already jockeying over tax will increase within the bundle.
“We said that we would explore the places where we could agree on and come to bipartisan agreement,” Schumer mentioned after Wednesday’s assembly. “We’re going to try hard to get one.”
The assembly with high Republicans will take a look at Biden’s repute as a deal-maker ― in addition to his campaign-trail optimism in regards to the Republican Party turning a web page post-Trump. Two years in the past this week, for instance, Biden predicted the GOP would have an “epiphany” and begin working with Democrats as soon as Trump was out of workplace.
“The thing that will fundamentally change things is with Donald Trump out of the White House. Not a joke,” Biden mentioned in 2019 at a marketing campaign cease in New Hampshire. “You will see an epiphany occur among many of my Republican friends.”
There’s been little proof of an epiphany up to now, nevertheless. Although there have been contemporary negotiations in Congress over police reform and gun security, a deal on both deeply contentious subject has proved elusive.
The GOP is definitely embracing the very type of denialism and falsehoods that led to the revolt on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. On Wednesday, House Republicans voted to oust Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) — a staunch conservative who refused to embrace Trump’s lies in regards to the 2020 election — from their management. Just this previous week, the previous president once more known as the election “rigged” and “stolen.”
Despite the clear proof in any other case, McCarthy, who backed Cheney’s ouster, insisted that was all within the rearview mirror.
“I don’t think anybody is questioning the legitimacy of the presidential election,” McCarthy mentioned on the White House. “I think that is all over with. We’re sitting here with the president today.”
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