Well, that didn't take long.
"It's Kevin McCarthy," read a campaign text from the House GOP Minority Leader on Wednesday, immediately after he met with President Joe Biden in the Oval Office. "I just met with Corrupt Joe Biden and he's STILL planning to push his radical Socialist agenda onto the American people. I need EVERY single patriot to step up in the next six hours."
Shorter McCarthy: I went to the Oval Office so I could trash talk Biden and fundraise off it. Pure class.
Speaking at the White House after the meeting on Biden’s $2.3 trillion jobs proposal, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell also extended his middle finger to the president’s outstretched hand in so many words.
"We had a good meeting with the president. Nearly all of it was about infrastructure," McConnell said, as he continued to obsess over what Republicans are willing to call infrastructure.
But here was the real kicker: "We are not interested in reopening the 2017 tax bill," McConnell added. "That's a red line."
Okay, so whatever their quibbles are about the size of the bill and what's included, Republicans still aren't going to sign on to any of the ways Biden has proposed to pay for it—and Biden has unequivocally pledged to find ways to pay for his proposed investments. Actually, Republicans are just into deficit spending these days.
McConnell's position about the size of the plan has shifted a bit over the past couple of weeks—he's clearly putting on a bit of a show. But the one thing McConnell has been rock solid on: He's intent on making sure Biden fails and is certain Biden won't muster a single GOP vote for his proposal to create jobs and invest in America's future.
Different White House, same GOP schtick—we're happy to sacrifice the nation at the altar of our political gain.
For its part, the White House released a read-out of the meeting with congressional leaders that used to be regarded as standard form.
“Today, President Biden hosted the bipartisan, bicameral Congressional Leadership for a productive meeting about how to further make government work for American families during this moment of crisis,” it read. “The President reiterated that he ran to be a leader for all Americans — regardless of who they voted for, that he believes there are many crucial areas where his administration and both parties in Congress can come together, and that in this unprecedented moment the American people expect us to put the interests of families above our disagreements.”
Well, it was worth a shot.
If there's a silver lining here, it's that the American public seems to be on to the Republican charade after they ran it for eight solid years during Barack Obama's presidency. An ABC News/Ipsos poll last week found that 67% of respondents say GOP leaders in Congress are doing too little to compromise with Biden, while just 22% called their approach about right. On the other hand, 60% of Americans said President Biden is either offering the right amount of bipartisanship or too much of it.
Bottom line: Americans are clear that it’s congressional Republicans who are killing any chance at bipartisanship, not President Biden.
— Elizabeth Crisp (@elizabethcrisp) May 12, 2021
Published with permission of Daily Kos